£1m Pride In Your High Streets fund to open in spring

A £1m scheme to provide a major boost for the centres and high streets of Telford and Wrekin’s towns and local centres is set to open for bids this spring.

£1m Pride In Your High Streets fund to open in spring

The £1m fund, a new part of the Council’s Pride in Your Community initiative, would be split into two parts, a report to the Council’s cabinet says.

It would be open for any organisations in the following areas to apply for; Dawley, Donnington, Hadley, Ironbridge, Madeley, Newport, Oakengates, St Georges, Wellington.

The first part is an £800,000 bidding fund. Bids would have link to a specific High Street or centre and meet a number of key criteria including:

  • Increasing footfall in a high street or centre
  • Bringing redundant or empty buildings back into use
  • Bringing a new service or function to a high street or centre
  • Making a high street or centre cleaner and more pleasant
  • Extending established operating hours of a high street or centre, for example at evenings or weekends
  • Creating or protecting jobs

The maximum any area could receive from the fund would be set at £100,000 with the most a single project could be awarded limited to £100,000 with a minimum of £5,000 grant.  

The Council wants to encourage a range of organisations including parish and town councils, regeneration partnerships, business, charities and voluntary sector groups to apply for this money. 

Bidders be expected to provide at least 10% match funding, and it is hoped that the Pride in Your High Streets fund can be used as match funding to secure much larger amounts of match funding from other organisations. 

The second part will be a £200,000 innovation fund. Here the Council will be seeking expressions of interest from groups in the same areas who wish to develop original ideas that will encourage wider community involvement.  

This would help support interesting and exciting projects and events that promote borough towns as destinations, highlighting their distinctive and individual attractions. This would be likely to link to existing events and would help to attract more visitors to these towns.  

The Council plans to open the application process for bids and expressions of interest for each fund from mid May with a deadline of the end of July. It is also planning to host workshop sessions for any prospective bidders to explain to them the bidding process before this opens.

Bids would then be evaluated and any successful scheme would be notified in the early autumn.  

Cllr Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, Employment and Skills, said: “This is great opportunity for towns and local centres in the borough to create new initiatives that can help improve our high streets. 

“These centres have so much to offer. This Council fund will allow groups in each area to come up with their own ideas of what they would like to do to help make their high street and town centre an even better place and attract more visitors. 

“I am sure that it will provide another major and lasting boost for our borough and to our drive to make Telford and Wrekin a place that people want to come to, visit and invest in.” 

The report will be considered by the Council’s cabinet on March 19.