Wellington Town Council applying for £500,000 loan to regenerate town centre
Wellington Town Council is preparing to apply for a £500,000 loan to regenerate the town centre and encourage people to move there, if the public backs the plans.
The council has agreed to start the process of applying for the money from the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will be spent on regenerating the town and tackling issues within the centre.
The high level of empty properties in certain key locations within the town centre has been marked as one of the areas of investment, along with an amount going into revitalising Wellington Market.
The council says it has already made provision in its budget to support a long-term loan of this size, but that a key element is to undertake consultation to see whether the borrowing is supported by residents.
Projects most likely to benefit from the loan will involve returning current empty or under used properties back into active use, and to use the cash to follow the principles of the Wellington Project 2020, which includes converting upper floors of buildings into residential use and encouraging more people to live in the town's comercial centre.
The council says it is likely that the projects invested in will be jointly supported by Telford & Wrekin Council and could enable Wellington to benefit from the Government's new Future High Street Fund, which offers grants for high street regeneration projects.
Wellington councillor for the Shawbirch ward, Stephen deLauney, the chairman of the policy and resources committee said: "Obtaining a loan is a two-stage process for the town council.
"Initially it must show that is has public support for the principle of investing in the regeneration of Wellington – this is needed before the relevant Government department will authorise the loan.
"Once the loan is authorised, we move to the second stage which will allow the town council to consider supporting investment in specific regeneration projects.
"No money will actually be drawn down from the loan, and thus no charges or interest incurred, until the investment project or projects have been scrutinised by the town council to ensure that they represent the best long-term value for the community.
"At the moment we are seeking public support for the principle of town council investment in the regeneration of Wellington."
Wellington residents are encouraged to respond either using the online survey on the town council's website, at wellington-shropshire.gov.uk, by writing to the council offices in Tan Bank, or by emailing email@example.com