11 Oct FUNDING TO HELP BOOST NORTH NORTHAMPTONSHIRE’S HIGH STREETS ANNOUNCED
Helping to boost the local economy, support local businesses, promote the local area and welcome people back to their local High Street safely are just a few of the aims of the Welcome Back Fund which has been awarded to North Northamptonshire Council from Central Government.
A total of £312,000 has been awarded to the Council which builds on the Reopening of the High Street Safely (RHSS) Funding, to deliver new projects and put in place measures to help North Northamptonshire residents rediscover their local High Street and enjoy all it has to offer including shopping, culture, food and drink, business, leisure, and health and personal care services.
Working together with twelve Town Councils in the area, North Northamptonshire Council has distributed £185,000 worth of the funding to them, to enable them to deliver events and promotion of local attractions.
North Northamptonshire Council will use the remaining funding to run initiatives such as the installation of footfall counters in some town centres, consultation work with businesses in the area, local photography, improvements to town centre street scenes and delivering marketing campaigns focussed on the High Street and all there is to offer, and plans are being developed for an area-wide tourism app.
Councillor Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council said: “Earlier this year, the Government announced the £56 million Welcome Back Fund for local Councils to help boost the look and feel of High Streets across the country, and to prepare for the safe return of shoppers and visitors to town centres.
“High Streets have changed significantly over the past few years, not just in our local area, but across the UK as a whole, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on this, hitting some businesses hard.
“The High Street experience in North Northamptonshire is very traditional with a good mix of independent businesses as well as national household names. We welcome this funding which will enable us to highlight the area, make our town centres an attractive place to live, work and shop, and support us to carry out work to bring visitors and vibrancy to our towns once again.”
Councillor David Brackenbury, Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration said: “High Streets are there for our local residents to experience all they have to offer, and we want people to use them as a destination for shopping, meeting friends and family and dining out. There are some real hidden gems in north Northamptonshire’s town centres, and something for everyone.
“Many businesses have done an outstanding job over the past eighteen months as they have had to adapt due to the effects of the pandemic including introducing click and collect and takeaway services. Now, as life is beginning to settle, we are seeing a steady rise in footfall across our town centres, but we know some residents may feel apprehensive about returning to their local High Street.
“One of the ways the Welcome Back funding will be used in north Northamptonshire is for Town Councils to deliver events safely with our support which we hope will encourage people to visit and stay a while, and bring our High Streets to life.
“We want to remind residents about the wonderful places, shops and businesses we have in the area especially in the lead up to Christmas time when we will be launching a new high impact campaign to show the social benefits of using your High Street – after all, nothing beats a bit of retail therapy and the many social aspects of town centres.”
To help boost visitors to north Northamptonshire’s High Streets, the Council is launching a new campaign called ‘HI Street!’ to showcase what residents can find locally to them, and this will include the installation of new signage and banners across the area, social media and the launch of a festive campaign in November to inspire people to use their local High Street for shopping and socialising this Christmas time.
Learn more about the Government’s Welcome Back fund.
Photograph by Phil Barnett, PJB Photography