Paignton is now amongst a small number of places across the UK to receive revenue funding of £150,000 from the Future High Streets Fund.
This funding supports production of detailed business cases to secure a share of the £675million Future High Streets Fund. These projects will help transform Paignton town centre.
Torbay Council submitted an initial funding bid in March. The bid included fourteen projects, from quick wins such as public space improvements in Paignton Station Square to longer term projects such as residential use of vacant space over shops. The bid showed that an injection of £15 million from Government could unlock a further £25 million investment in Paignton Town Centre.
The Council will now work closely with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to accelerate delivery of shovel ready projects and to move forward on longer term projects.
Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We are delighted with this funding. It is a massive boost for Paignton town centre. It will generate positive change, confidence and momentum where it is most needed and will benefit the most people. The Council is in a good position to move forward with delivering projects, such as Paignton Station Square public space improvements and development of part of Victoria Centre. We also know these projects have the support of the community and businesses.”
The bid submitted in March focussed on two main areas where investment is most needed. The first is in the core area of Victoria Street, Torbay Road and Paignton Station Square, the town’s focal point. The second is looking at key opportunities, such as Victoria Centre and Crossways, where change is essential to drive growth.
Councillor Swithin Long, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “The Government has recognised that Paignton town centre has significant challenges, real potential and that we have a strategy in place for transforming Paignton. The Council put that strategy in place in April 2017, but delivery has been slowed by a lack of significant investor interest. We believe Government funding will change that dynamic. It will help bring the wow factor, vitality and vibrancy back to Paignton town centre. Regeneration is a key priority for the new Council administration, and this funding will very much help with this.”
Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Our proposals, which are based on what residents and businesses have told us, show that with the help of this funding Paignton town centre can be resilient and sustainable. Its culture and history will be at the forefront of its success. The quality of retail will be improved; there will be greater diversity of uses in the town centre and more people will want to live and work there. We are very grateful for the support provided by 20 regional and local organisations and local MPs, from the Heart of the South West LEP to Torbay Road Traders Association.”
The £150,000 revenue funding now available will be used by the Council and TDA to produce business cases to attract capital funding to deliver projects in the town centre.
Steve Reynolds, Chairman of the Torbay Business Forum said: “The challenges for Paignton town centre are significant. We know that Paignton, which has fantastic attributes, has great potential to improve its offer to businesses, residents and visitors. These proposals need to be delivered quickly and with the support of Government funding, otherwise there is a risk that Paignton will fall further behind other towns.”
Vince Flower, Chair of TDA Board said: “We know that Paignton town centre is one of the most deprived and disadvantaged communities in England and the South West. Whilst there are signs, over the last 12 months, of improvements in Paignton’s economic performance, which supports our belief in Paignton’s great potential, it is true to say that it is falling behind other places in relative terms. TDA believes that transformative Future High Streets funding and associated co-funding will provide an excellent return on investment.”
Further information on these projects can be found at www.torbay.gov.uk/future-high-streets-summary or www.investintorbay.com/town-centres-regeneration