Team behind Leamington's High Street Fund bid aims to build a 'secure and vibrant' future for the town centre.
Earlier this week it was announced that Leamington had been shortlisted as one of the 50 additional towns to receive funding from the Government's Future High Street Fund.
As part of the application process the Council submitted an ‘Expression of Interest’ for the Fund earlier this year in partnership with key stakeholders including BID Leamington, Leamington Old Town Traders and Leamington Town Council, with the aim of developing a plan to ensure that Leamington town centre 'remains resilient in the wake of great changes to the high street and consumer behaviour both nationally and locally'.
As part of its 'Leamington Town Centre Vision and Strategy', which includes the establishment of a Creative Quarter, the Council will continue to work with local partners, stakeholders and the government to prepare a more detailed business case.
This will then be submitted back to Government for consideration as part of the next round of the process to attract funding.
As well as establishing a Creative Quarter, the bid includes other plans such as enhancing Old Town and revealing Leamington's waterways.
An extract from the Leamington town centre bid said:
Leamington Spa has a distinct identity which we are seeking to build on to provide the town centre with a secure and vibrant future. This identity is rooted in our creative and entrepreneurial past; our heritage in health, wellbeing and leisure; and our historic and green environment.
These themes provide the basis for our town centre vision, underpinned by six “Big Ideas”:
~ A thriving town centre
~ A connected town centre
~ Places to meet
~ Revealing Leamington’s waterways
~ A Hub for Creativity
~ Enhancing Old Town
These form the basis of the Leamington Town Centre Vision and Strategy. Developed through collaboration, this seeks to mobilise local energy and creativity, recognising that change should address local needs through shared ambitions and a community-led approach to change.
We now require the support and expertise of Future High Street Fund to refine and deliver proposals to make our vision a reality.
Cllr Alan Rhead, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for business and environment, said: “Leamington town centre is prosperous and has many unique assets, however, the Council and our partners have identified a number of challenges we will face in the coming years that would benefit from this government support and strategic funding.
Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director of BID Leamington said: "Although we don’t yet know the amount of funding we will be allocated, we hope that this initiative will be a catalyst that will help to shape our plans to build a resilient and sustainable future for our town and at the same time draw on the innovation and creative talent of our community.
“We were very pleased to support the application process and are excited about the outcome. This will bring strategic expertise and funding that will help us to ensure our town centre is able to adapt to future challenges.
"Collaboration with the local community was an important aspect of the proposal so we are looking forward to embracing this approach going forwards. Whist the amount of funding is still unknown, it is hoped this investment will help us refine a locally supported vision to enable greater resilience and where needed, sustainable transformation, so we look forward to