TOWN CASH BOOST - Money ‘gets ball rolling on very positive changes’
St Austell’s operations manager Steve Skinner, deputy town clerk Sara Gwilliams and town clerk David Pooley. Photo Paul Williams
23rd June 2021
By Natasha Swift
The “start of some very positive changes” is on the way for St Austell thanks to a £140,000 boost to help “start the ball rolling on the much needed regeneration” of the town centre.
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet agreed in 2020 to establish a Town Centre Revitalisation Fund to support the revival of Cornwall’s high streets.
From the project, £1m was earmarked as a “Town Vitality Fund” and all Cornish town councils were invited to submit applications to secure the resource they need to help them tackle local priorities.
A partnership of private sector, public sector and voluntary sector individuals teamed up to develop a bid to this fund on behalf of St Austell.
And Cornwall Council has now awarded St Austell Town Council a grant of £140,000. Town clerk David Pooley said: “This is an exciting opportunity for St Austell and we are very grateful to Cornwall
Council for their grant.
“Clearly, town centres are changing rapidly and it is essential that St Austell town centre adapts to reflect the decline of retail and the growth of leisure activities.
“I am hopeful that the £140,000 will be the start of some very positive changes for the town.” The aim of the St Austell Town Revitalisation Partnership is to help St Austell be a better town to work, live, study and visit.
The town council says that while revenue funding at this scale cannot by itself deliver transformational change in the town centre, it is intended to be used to develop projects and a clear vision which will attract further inward investment and grant funding.
The local partnership is waiting for the details and the conditions that apply to the grant funding and will then agree the priorities for the use of the funds allocated.
Cornwall councillor for Bethel and Holmbush, and town councillor, Jordan Rowse, said: “This is big news for people all across St Austell. “This investment will allow us to seriously start looking at how we can start the ball rolling on the much-needed regeneration of St Austell.
“It’s clear that the town has been crying out for investment, but also investment that’s not wasted. “We need to ensure that this money will be used effectively and efficiently, so that St Austell can once again become a destination for locals and visitors alike.”
St Austell Business Information District chairman Dale Lovatt said: “This is a real opportunity for St Austell. “The grant awarded to the town council on behalf of the St Austell Revitalisation Partnership is very much a stepping stone to allow the town the resources to go forward to identify and explore, in detail, the improvement projects that are both feasible and deliverable.
“High streets all over the country are having to evolve in order to survive the change in shoppers’ habits. “St Austell is no different and I really hope we are able to increase the leisure and night-time economy offer which would in turn support the current retail environment and attract new retail businesses.
“St Austell BID is keen to work with the Revitalisation Partnership and we hope that together we can enhance the future of our town centre.”
Further information on the St Austell Revitalisation Partnership can be found at www.staustell.co.uk/townrevitalisation-partnership