Covid recovery funding will not be used for Bridgnorth multi-storey car park

Covid recovery funding will not be spent on plans for a multi-storey car park in Bridgnorth, it has emerged.

Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth

Measures to alleviate the town's car parking woes were discussed at a Shropshire Council cabinet meeting last year, when councillors considered a number of possible improvements to parking in the town.

It was suggested plans for a multi-storey car park at Innage Lane could be drawn up using a slice of the £288,194 awarded to the authority as part of the national Welcome Back fund – used to support town centre businesses in their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

It was hoped a car park would bring shoppers to the town and give traders a vital boost after a challenging year.

Bridgnorth's representatives on Shropshire Council were in support of the proposal, although Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce said other plans should be considered.

In a letter to the chamber of commerce, Shropshire Council's director of place Mark Barrow confirmed the recovery funding would not be used for the initial idea of a multi-storey.

He said: "I can confirm that none of the Covid-related grant money that has been issued to date will be used to fund our proposals for investment in Bridgnorth.

"The grant money from the government is being used to support businesses and places to survive and respond to the pandemic."

He added that any proposals for investment in the town would be discussed and possible consultations would be launched with key stakeholders.

Council leader Peter Nutting added that a limit has been put on the amount of funding each area across the county can receive in efforts to create a fairer share of wealth.

It comes after fresh fears were raised over the future of Old Smithfield Car Park after it was bought by developers earlier this year.

Ziran Land bought the car park for £1.2 million in February after its plans to build retail units on the land in 2017 did not come to fruition.

Vandalism is another issue that has plagued the town's car parks in recent weeks.

On Thursday, residents woke to discover white paint had been poured over the card readers and keypads of all the ticket machines in Listley Street North Car Park.

Vandals had also jammed wood chippings into the coin slots, leaving those without a capable mobile phone with no means of paying.

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