Wellington welcomes news of £10m injection into town centre and market

Businesses and visitors to Wellington have given a hearty thumbs-up to news that the town will be getting nearly £10 million in 'levelling up' money.

Pictured at the Beacon pub is resident DJ: Philip Hyde.
Pictured at the Beacon pub is resident DJ: Philip Hyde.

The Chancellor in his Budget on Wednesday confirmed that the Government will provide £9.8m for the 'remodelling' of the town centre – including the historic market and the independent cinema, The Orbit.

The Wellington Orbit..

Some traders in the market hall on Thursday said they would not comment on the news until it had been made official by the current owner. According to announcements a cool £7.8m is available to buy and refurbish the 13th Century market, another £1.7m to buy and extend The Orbit, as well as £1.3m for highways improvements.

The current market owner is credited with saving the market from collapse, without which it might not be around today.

Mrs Mandy Perks, 58, recently moved to Leegomery for family reasons and is in the second week of working at Top Fruits. She said she was delighted with the friendliness of the market.

"It is a great place and good for the elderly people, they can get everything under one roof."

Pictured working at Top Fruits in the market is: Many Perks.

The highways funds will allow for improvements to Market Street, Church Street and Market Square, with a focus on pedestrians and cyclists.

That could be very good news for bike shop owner Dave Taylor, 47, who used to have a stall in the market where he proved his business model before taking over a nearby shop.

"Running a bike shop, if any of the highways improvements are for cycleways then that is great from an environmental standpoint as well as the shop," he said at his place in Saturday Cycles.

"I was in the market for 18 months and have been in the shop for another 18 months. The market is a good training ground.

"It is good news to have money coming in to Wellington. The town is still a market town, so the more people who come to the market is better for other shops too."

Pictured at Saturday Cycles is: Dave Taylor..

A civil servant who would only give his name as David was visiting the town. He said: "My first impression is that there are a lot of charity shops, nail bars and barbers. But £10 million is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things and there is a risk that it gets spent on vanity projects and not things that deal with issues such as social deprivation."

Philip Hyde, 54, the resident DJ at the Beacon pub in the town centre, said: "Parking is an urgent thing to spend money on and I would also spend some on businesses, including the small businesses.

"Wellington is a market town, where the big thing is the shops but sometimes Friday can be dead. If they spend £10 million I hope they can get the town up and running again attracting shoppers. Without the shops bringing people in, we are nothing."

The plan for the market is to "preserve existing traders and introduce new retail, cultural, arts, music, and leisure events" according to the post-budget announcements.

That investment in the market cannot come too soon for Adrienne Taylor, 47, who runs The Daberhashery also near the market hall. She has been busy selling wool as there is a need for homemade knitted blankets in the cold weather.

"The market definitely needs 'Shrewsbury-ising'," she said. "The market hall in Shrewsbury has a feeling that everyone there is looking at the same thing, whereas in Wellington everyone is doing their own thing.

Pictured at The Daberhashery is Adrienne Taylor.

"It would be raising the bar for everyone and would be good for the whole town."

The Wellington project was one of 16 across the country sharing a total of £200m.

The Chancellor's Budget announcement stated: "These projects have been assessed as high quality and will commence delivery later this year. Investment has been targeted towards the left-behind places in the Levelling Up White Paper or projects that are under £10 million to ensure quick delivery and a good spread of funding across England."

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