Warwick District Council has warmly welcomed the news that Leamington Spa is among 50 towns to be shortlisted 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.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business & Environment, Councillor Alan Rhead commented;
“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. 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.”
Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director of BID Leamington said;
“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 next steps”.
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 competitive process to attract the required funding. Whilst no funding has yet been approved, this is a huge step in the right direction for Leamington Spa, it’s residents and businesses to protect the high street for the future.