EAST RIDING of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) has launched a new fund to help revitalise town centres and Hedon is eligible to apply!
ERYC has £300,000 in its new ‘High Street Fund’ which it hopes to be able to use to help up to 13 town centres across the area.
The funding will be allocated via a bidding process over the course of three rounds, with places able to make more than one bid for a share of the fund.
Single groups can apply for a minimum grant of £2,000 and up to a maximum grant of £5,000. However, if two groups or more come together to work in partnership, they can apply to a maximum of £10,000.
Applicants will need to demonstrate that local resources are also being invested and that there are robust local arrangements for delivering the proposals. The council will provide support and advice to groups through its regeneration and funding team.
The High Street Fund will be available in the following places:
Beverley, Bridlington, Cottingham, Driffield, Elloughton-cum-Brough, Goole, Hedon, Hessle, Hornsea, Howden, Market Weighton Pocklington, Withernsea.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of the council, said: “The aim of the High Street Fund is to improve our town centres through regeneration activity that supports the idea of the high street as a multifunctional destination, with retail playing a part alongside community, public service, leisure, culture and civic uses.
“We are keen to build on the experiences of our four Mary Portas pilot town schemes and encourage new and creative thinking that enables local people and businesses, to revitalise and shape the future of their high street, so that they remain a vibrant, viable part of the community.”
Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economy, investment and inequalities, is encouraging business groups, community groups and town and parish councils to work together to develop exciting and workable plans to boost the attractiveness of their town centres, encourage new businesses and support both the day time and night time economy.
She said: “The places that are eligible to apply are our main retail and service hubs. They already draw in the majority of our residents and visitors, but they could offer a lot more if retailers and other town centre businesses work together. We have been very impressed by the results achieved using the limited ‘Portas’ money in Beverley, Bridlington, Goole and Market Weighton and we want to sustain these approaches for the longer term by providing similar ‘seedcorn’ funding. We recognise that it will take some places longer than others to work up their ideas so the timetable for applying reflects this.”
The fund will be made available through three bidding rounds.
- Round 1 expressions of interest by 25th July and full applications by 5th September 2014
- Round 2 expressions of interest by 12th September and full applications by 24th October 2014
- Round 3 expressions of interest by 5th December and full applications by 30th January 2015
To find out more contact Jane Crossley, the renaissance manager for this area (Beverley, Hedon, Hornsea, Market Weighton, Pocklington and Withernsea), at email firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01482 391692.
Hedon Blog comment: This pot of funding seems to have ‘arrived’ rather quickly without much pre-notice – a press release arrived on Tuesday which advertised a launch event held yesterday in Beverley! But despite the short notice it would seem a good opportunity for a group to come together in Hedon and put forward some ideas and develop a proposal to apply for a larger amount of money? An opportunity perhaps to pull together a ‘town team’ which can act together locally, apply for the funding and try to kick start some new initiatives and projects in the town centre?
What do readers think?
ERYC have also provided some examples of how similar funding has helped places elsewhere in the county:
Unoccupied retail premises in North Bar had been running at 14.2 per cent, against an overall town centre figure of 5.9 per cent, so in order to counteract decline, the Beverley Georgian Quarter Group was formed, with a remit to re-brand, re-invigorate and re-launch the area by creating a ‘Georgian Quarter’ identity which would be attractive to visitors and shoppers and increase footfall and spend.
The Mary Portas Town Teams Pilot funding was identified as a resource to deliver a series of short-term projects and initiatives for the Georgian Quarter. These included an initial branding and marketing campaign, website development, a high-profile launch, formation of a Georgian Quarter trader’s group, a series of prominent and well-designed lamp post banners etc. The retail offer was target marketed, and includes chic boutiques, fashion and lifestyle, quirky specialist shops and an emerging network of food specialists and dining destinations.
The aim was to bring a vacant unit into use for a period of 18 weeks and to ensure the unit be fully-occupied for the entire 18 weeks.
The Bridlington pop-up shop gave local and new businesses a window of opportunity on the High Street, with a chance to test the real world of shop keeping, along with a helping hand from experienced partners and business advisors. The unit was fully occupied for the entire duration of the project (18 weeks) and this period became known as ‘Phase 1’.
The scheme has been so successful that it has been extended until 25th September 2014.
All businesses who occupied the unit engaged with the council’s business services team.
The Town Team’s support of the local high street has four elements:
- Establish a monthly calendar of themed town centre events and promotions. These have included: Goole Beach Day, Heritage Weekend, World Coffee Morning, Independent Traders Month, Small Business Saturday, Love Your Local Market and Spring into Action Clean up.
- Expand the ‘I Love Goole’ shopper’s loyalty scheme to include a local customer service award and equip sales staff with local knowledge to ‘sell up’ other stores/services in the town: Promotional materials (bags, car decals) to spread recognition of ‘I Love Goole’ were bought to promote at events, and to bring brand recognition to the town. The website has been further developed.
- Commission art forms to disguise roller shutters that are closed during the day, giving the impression of an un-used retail unit: Art Forum work is under development with commitment to spend in June 2014 dependant on the outcome of a visual audit. If the audit concludes that the concept is no longer fit for purpose the money will then be used to secure other appropriate work linked directly to the Go to Goole vision.
- Establish a ‘kerb appeal’ campaign for retail/service unit entrances to improve the town centre urban realm. Introduced a shop front improvement scheme and established a grant panel that included Goole Civic Society.
The newly formed Town Team has supported a number of measures to improve the vitality and appeal of Market Weighton ‘high street’.
- GIANT Community Day 2013 & 14 – Family fun event attracted an extraordinary high footfall and raised sufficient sponsorship to virtually cover the cost of the event. Several of the sponsors also voluntarily paid sponsorship upfront to run the event in 2014.
- FREE Park and Ride from the town centre to Kiplingcotes Derby 2013 & 14, attracting in excess of 500 race goers who normally bypass the town. Traders reported increased taking and noted increased vitality around the town, which featured on several radio and TV programmes.
- Market Weighton Open for Business 2012 & 13 – Extension and promotion of extended Christmas opening hours. TT paid for printing and distribution of advertising flyers. Traders contributed £10 each and dressed in Disney theme for 2013 event. A self-funded themed event is being planned for 2014. TT also helped grow the Christmas lights event by improving promotion and encouraging traders to dress in a theme and donated prizes for children’s shop window quiz.
- In 2013 TT installed 70 brackets along the high street and paid for supply, hanging and watering of 103 flower baskets. Traders hosting hanging basket contributed £10 towards pilot project and Town Council replanted town centre tubs and flower beds. In 2014 traders will pay £25 each towards the cost.
- TT initiated Yorkshire Passion Training and Le Tour France/ Grand Depart Breakfast meeting and encouraged traders and organisations to attend to identify business opportunities