Oswestry residents to have say on future of town

By Aimee Jones | Oswestry | News | Published:

Opportunities for people to get involved in a project to revitalise Oswestry town centre are set to be announced early next year.

Oswestry town centre

Work is currently ongoing to tackle the town's empty buildings as a part of Owestry's bid to become a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ).

The HAZ programme will see the market town benefit from a share of £95 million of government funding, following a successful bid by Shropshire Council, in partnership with the Future Oswestry Group.

An initial workshop was held on November 26 and there will soon be a chance for more local people to get involved, according to the authority.

Arren Roberts, Oswestry Town Clerk, said the amount of money awarded to the town will be confirmed in January but said it has been an extremely positive experience.

He said: “This is a huge opportunity to tackle some of the issues on the high street. The town council is fully behind this work and have committed to using some of the Smithfield capital receipt to maximise the total budget available.

" The work of Oswestry BID also needs to be recognised – the connection with the business community is one that has been missing in Oswestry and their work, including engagement with local landlords, is valued and is valuable. I would also like to thank Shropshire Council officers for their hard work and diligence on the application to Historic England."

Meanwhile, the town's BID has arranged a meeting with the town’s agents and landlords on December 10 to discuss work relating to empty buildings within the town centre and proposals to look at how these buildings could be used or re-purposed.

Adele Nightingale, Oswstry BID manager, said: "This is an exciting time for Oswestry, and the HAZ fund will give the ability to push on with some of the projects that had already been started through the Future Oswestry Group. The key to the success of ensuring that we maximise on the impact of the funding is the collaboration between Shropshire Council, Oswestry Town Council and the BID. Working together means we can pull on each organisations strengths and deliver the best for our town."

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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