Monday 20 August 2012
Swale Borough Council is inviting local groups and partnerships to come forward with proposals to create more prosperous and diverse high streets in their town centres.
The council is launching a local grant scheme to help revitalise the borough's three town centres, as part of the government's High Street Innovation Programme in response to the Portas Review.
A total grant of £100,000 has been awarded to Swale, and has been allocated to the three main town centres as follows:
SBC is asking local groups to come forward with a range of ideas to help make the borough's town centres the busy, bustling places they should be. The council is encouraging locally minded people to work together and develop proposals to improve their towns. Bids will need to be creative and innovative, and will need to demonstrate commitment from those involved.
Local trader, voluntary and community groups will be able to bid for part or all of the funding available in their town.
Bids will be assessed against set criteria to secure proposals that improve town centre environments, increase footfall, encourage new business formation and job creation, promote creative use of vacant space and introduce sustainable activity to improve the vibrancy of our towns. Particular emphasis will be placed on supporting proposals which clearly demonstrate collaboration, consensus and strong local stakeholder support.
Successful bids will need to demonstrate a strategic and collaborative approach and show enthusiasm and commitment to make a real difference.
An assessment panel will make the final funding decisions. Grants will be discretionary.
Councillor John Wright, Swale Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "Bids could be for all or part of the money available for each town, but we would expect to see substantial proposals that will make a real and lasting impact on town centres. We would expect any smaller projects to be pulled together into a more substantial programme that may require town centre stakeholders and groups to work together, both through the bidding process and in delivery. "
Application forms, together with guidance notes will be available from Monday 20 August. Deadline for applications is Monday 15 October 2012.
For groups interested in submitting bids, Swale Council will be organising workshops in each of the town centres during September where further support and guidance will be available.
For more information or an application form, please contact the Community Services Team.