Council support for local high streets continues
Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet will hear this month how the Pride in Our Community High Street Fund is continuing to help high streets thrive with a raft of grants and schemes available to support local businesses.
Since the launch of the High Street Fund in 2015, there have been two rounds of funding available to projects and schemes that rejuvenate high streets. The first round saw £800,000 invested in around 30 schemes in nine local high streets, including renovating Madeley War Memorial, improving car parking and lighting in Newport, sprucing up Dawley High Street and creating a series of ‘false window’ murals in Wellington.
The second round released last year is seeing another £700,000 invested in six local high streets. The focus for this funding is on bringing empty retail premises back into use, improving shop fronts and working with town and parish councils to better market their high streets.
A Young High Street Challenge, Empty Unit Retail Grant and property façade improvement scheme are now under way. High street wi-fi in Ironbridge and Oakengates is also about to be piloted.
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for finance, commercial services and economic development, said: “National studies have shown how addressing the issue of empty properties as well as ones in poor condition has the greatest impact on attracting visitors to high streets, which is why we are targeting our investment on them.
“The Wellington murals and Dawley shutters show the positive difference relatively small initiatives can make in helping to brighten up our high streets.
“The Young High Street Challenge has also been fantastic. Seeing the enthusiasm and great ideas of the young people who took part in the project has been amazing. It might sound a bit of a cliché, but young people are the future and we need to hear from them to ensure our high streets are as relevant tomorrow as they are today.”
Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet meeting on 18 October will be updated on the progress of the schemes happening as part of the second round of funding and asked to extend the Empty Unit Incentive Grant to include premises in Ironbridge.
***Press release updated 5 October 2018***