Wirral community groups urged to ask for extra cash for town centre regeneration (From Wirral Globe)
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Wirral community groups urged to ask for extra cash for town centre regeneration
COMMUNITY groups working to revive their town centres are being encouraged to ask for extra Government cash.
Councillor Pat Hackett, Wirral cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said it was important that residents who are already trying to improve their local high streets apply for the new funding scheme.
His comments come as the borough’s ruling cabinet is asked to agree that the council become the accountable body for the Our Town First: Future High Street X-Fund.
The new scheme follows on from Mary Portas’ initiative to help save local town centres and offers money to areas which have implemented "innovative" schemes since May 2011.
The strict criteria to receive the funding includes a scheme responding to an area’s challenges with new ideas and also setting out how they could help other town centres to learn from their success.
Applicants have to show how they have already begun to transform their area and are expected to provide evidence of this.
Among the groups who have already showed interest in applying are Hoylake Town Team – who were give Town Team Partnership status receiving £10,000 for regeneration earlier this month – as well as Oxton Road and Liscard Town Team.
And Cllr Hackett said the money was vital for struggling local high shopping centres.
He said: "This follows on from Mary Portas’ Government initiative to help to revive the country's high streets.
"The winning areas have got to show they have an original project and would be able to build on the work they have already done.
"It's a great bit of news that will deliver on previous applications from town teams who were given £10,000 as part of the Town Team Partnership.
"I don't think there are any specific town centres in Wirral that need extra funding because they are all desperate for help in these tough economic times.
"The more teams and areas that get involved, the better so I would definitely encourage groups to put forward an application.”
As part of their submission for the cash, applicants have to put together a short video on why their area should be given a prize.
The council must also confirm it is willing to act as the “accountable body” for the fund.
All applications have to be submitted to the council before December 6.
Cabinet is expected to approve plans to be the "accountable body" next Thursday.