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Plans revealed to help Cornish town centres survive

Plans revealed to help Cornish town centres survive

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:15am 20th July 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council is set to provide more funding to help towns which have seen a drop in visitors due to an increase in the number of empty shops and rise in number of charity shops.

Earlier this year the council agreed to set up a £4million town centre revitalisation fund to help support the development of investment proposals for town centres in Cornwall.

The fund was created as a result of a vitality of towns inquiry which looked at how to help high streets which have been hit by the decline in the retail sector.

Now the council is looking at how to use that money to help towns in Cornwall which need support.

The council funding will go to those towns which are not already being helped by other schemes such as the Government’s future high street fund, town deal or high street heritage action zone funds.

A report on the issue is set to be presented to the council’s Cabinet next week which will be asked to approve some of the funding allocations.

It states: “The changes faced on Cornwall’s high streets are not unusual in the UK, but they are exacerbated by additional economic challenges faced in Cornwall, including lower than average pay, geographical remoteness and the
seasonality of tourism.

“This change is leading to an increase in the number of empty shops and an increase in the number of charity shops which in turn is leading to reduced footfall in most of our towns, especially in those that are not in tourism “hot spots”. This not only impacts on the economic growth of an area but has a negative impact on the community as a whole.”

Camborne town centre

Four towns in Cornwall have been invited to apply for up to £25m each from the Government’s Towns Fund – Penzance, St Ives, Camborne and Truro.

Grants have been received by the towns – £750,000 each for Camborne and Truro and £500,000 each for Penzance and St Ives – which will be used for projects which will be submitted to the government next month for approval.

Penzance has also been selected to bid for the Future High Street Fund with £150,000 of development funding to draw up a business case for a stage two bid.

Redruth has been chosen for the Heritage High Street Fund and received a grant of around £1.7m which will attract another £3m of investment from the private and public sector.

Cornwall Council is looking to provide some additional financial support for other towns where there are projects which could help.

st austell town centre

A total of £425,000 has been allocated for St Austell, Liskeard and Bodmin – in St Austell there are plans for a rationalisation of council assets and plans for public consultation to come up with possible projects; in Liskeard the money will support land holdings subject to redevelopment and in Bodmin it will provide support for how council assets can support long term sustainability as well as public consultation on plans for Dennison Road car park.

The council is also looking to provide up to £1m for joint regeneration projects which could include council assets.

And up to £700,000 will be provided to help with place-shaping work and allowing towns to launch pilot projects which could help deliver economic growth.

The Cabinet will consider the report when it meets on Wednesday (July22).

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