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Shrewsbury makes case for share of £675 million funding pot

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Shrewsbury Town Council has finalised its attempt to win part of Shropshire Council's bid for a share of the £675 million Future High Street's Fund.

Aerial photo of Shrewsbury

Last month, Councillor Peter Nutting, mayor of Shrewsbury and leader of Shropshire Council said that Oswestry was the preferred option.

However, members of Shrewsbury Town Council have other ideas.

Last month, Councillor Nutting said Shrewsbury is no longer in the running because it has received large investments in recent years.

"No decisions have been made yet but my point of view is that we should put Oswestry forward," he said.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced the new fund to revitalise high streets and town centres in December 2019, recognising that high streets have been drivers in the local community, creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and injecting billions into the local economy. Yet the way people shop and use their high streets is changing.

The Future High Street fund is designed to support places by co-funding transformative, structural changes to overcome challenges and make town centres fit-for-purpose.

Shropshire Council may submit up to two separate bids to the fund and has sought representations from town councils in the county to garner interest in being involved.

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Shrewsbury Town Council officers have been working with colleagues from the Shrewsbury Business Improvement District to prepare the case for the town. Both the town council and the BID have been key players in the development of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, a vision for the town to ensure Shrewsbury continues to be a vibrant place to live, work and visit.

In promoting Shrewsbury as a favoured bid, Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of the town council said: “In partnership with the BID and Shropshire Council we have worked really hard over the last three years to prepare the Big Town Plan and there is a true sense of collaboration with a wide range of other stakeholders.

"We are now in a position to start delivering our ambitious framework which will draw in a large investment and help regenerate Shrewsbury and the county as a whole. This funding has come at the right time”.

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID supported the town council’s submission and said: “The Shrewsbury Big Town Plan has already attracted interest from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government when they visited Shrewsbury last year. 

"Our established partnership, vision and plan means Shrewsbury is nationally well placed for this funding opportunity and ready to deliver transformative projects for the county town.”

Shropshire Council will determine its preferred bids by the end of February with a view that a submission will be made to government by the March 22 deadline.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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