24/08/2012 - Permalink

Grants scheme to help Oswestry town centre regeneration

Related topics: Community

The innovative Oswestry Joint Economic Board is delighted to announce that £75,000 has been allocated to help regenerate Oswestry Town Centre with the main focus on the retail areas of the town.
The aim is to make this key market town in the north west of the county more attractive and welcoming to local people and visitors.
There are a number of vacant premises within the town centre and this grant scheme will be available to improve and buildings and bring them back into use. A part of this will also include converting the spaces over shop units into accommodation.  
Oswestry Joint Economic Board is a partnership approach developed by Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council to both pool resources and knowledge with a specific remit of economic development of Oswestry.  The Board has already instigated landscaping improvements and has currently commissioned a Traffic Impact Study for the town. 
The Board is also looking to explore other opportunities including business start-ups for young people and business mentoring, working in partnership with the Oswestry Chamber of Trade.   
The new grant scheme is currently being developed and a further announcement will be made in the coming weeks on how businesses can apply and what the criteria will be. 
Councillor Keith Barrow, Shropshire Council’s Leader and local councillor for Oswestry South, said:

“This funding 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.”

Martin Bennett, Mayor of Oswestry Town Council and Shropshire Councillor for Oswestry East, said:

“In addition to encouraging new business into the vacant premises, we will be looking to encourage more office space and rental accommodation above the shops so that people can live and work in the heart of the town.”

Councillor Vince Hunt, Shropshire Council member for Oswestry West, added:

“This is great news for the area and we hope it will lead to some real improvements for the centre of Oswestry.”

Oswestry Town Council Chairman, Councillor Cynthia Hawksley, said:

“I am pleased that we have made so much progress in finding local solutions to what are wider problems. We have every chance of success with such a good start.”

The Board will meet again in early October and is currently conducting an empty property survey in the town.
For further information please call Susan Coleman Shropshire Council’s Business Support Officer on 01743 252597 or email susan.coleman@shropshire.gov.uk.