12/04/2011 - Permalink

Funding helps to boost county’s market towns

Related topics: Community / Democracy

A £3.5m fund set up to provide a boost to Shropshire’s market towns is making good early progress with a number of projects having received funding and many other applications expected to be submitted as detailed proposals in the coming months (from April 2011 onwards).

Shropshire Council’s Market Towns Revitalisation Programme was launched in September 2010.  Under the programme money is available to spend on capital schemes that will provide an immediate stimulus to the county’s market towns.

To date, £65,000 has been awarded to the Silvester Horne Institute in Church Stretton; £35,000 to Bishop’s Castle Town Hall, £61,977 to the Festival Drayton Centre; £100,000 to St Leonard’s Church in Bridgnorth; £60,000 to Ludlow College; £70,000 to Ludlow Assembly Rooms; £100,000 to Ludlow Conference Centre, and £120,000 to Ludlow Town Council’s Ludlow Conservation Area Revitalisation Project.

Under the programme, £2.5 million is being made available to support the larger market towns of Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Whitchurch.

A further £500,000 is available for the 11 other market towns throughout the county to bid into. These are Shifnal, Wem, Albrighton, Broseley, Ellesmere, Highley, Cleobury Mortimer, Craven Arms, Much Wenlock, Bishop’s Castle, and Pontesbury and Minsterley.

In addition, £500,000 is available for initiatives that would benefit the country’s rural communities through the Rural Challenge Fund.

The funding must be spent by September 2012 in order to provide an immediate economic boost to those areas affected by the economic downturn.

Under the MTRP, Shropshire Councillors are working with local town and parish councillors and their local communities to identify and prioritise projects that will make the most effective contribution to the economic revitalisation of their town.

A report being presented to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet this week (13 April 2011) provides an update on the progress of the MTRP and the process by which applications for funding can be submitted and considered.

Councillor Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economy and waste, said:

“This programme aims to provide an immediate boost to those areas affected by the economic downturn and to contribute to the long term economic revitalisation of our market towns.  It is providing local councillors,and local people with an opportunity to say how they think this money could and should be spent to provide a real and immediate benefit to their town.”

For more information, go to shropshire.gov.uk/markettowns.