A new series of monthly drop-in sessions has been arranged for town centre businesses to find out more about the major projects taking place to regenerate and transform the area.
The sessions will focus particularly on the Future High Streets Fund, which involves a number of projects to restore Tamworth town centre as the heart of the community.
They will be held at Tamworth Enterprise Centre in Corporation Street on every second Wednesday of the month, between 2pm and 7pm, throughout the duration of the programme.
Members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns from town centre businesses as the work progresses, and particularly as the construction phase gets underway next year.
The first session takes place on Wednesday, December 8, followed by January 12 and February 9. The full timetable can be viewed on the Key Dates/Events page of this website, under the 'Get Involved' tab.
Cllr Jeremy Oates, Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “We all know that the town centre has to evolve and adapt in order to meet the changing needs and demands of the consumer. The plans we put forward were big and bold, but this is what’s needed.
“We have some great businesses in the town centre and we hope these changes will be for the benefit of all, but we do need to work together. There’s undoubtedly going to be some disruption throughout the construction phases and these drop-in sessions will enable businesses to always have a face-to-face point of contact to ask any questions or raise any concerns.
“Of course if businesses have more immediate concerns or questions, they can still contact the council as usual at any time.”
The sessions follow on from a meeting held in the Assembly Rooms for town centre businesses in October, where a variety of projects to transform Tamworth were unveiled.
Town centre businesses are also invited to join a closed Facebook group where news will be posted and where they can communicate with the council and each other about relevant projects. Thirty members have joined the group so far.
Cllr Oates added: “The session in the Assembly Rooms was really useful, attended by passionate local businesses who share our commitment to the future success of the town centre. We now want to strengthen relationships with businesses so we can all work together on these plans and take every advantage of the opportunities the funding will bring.
“I’ve already spoken to a number of town centre businesses since the event and have been able to help them with some enquiries.”
Tamworth has been awarded £21.65 million, from the Future High Streets Fund to transform the town centre into the busy thriving heart of the community.
A total of 72 towns successfully bid for a share of up to £830million to transform their high streets into vibrant hubs for future generations. Tamworth was one of only 15 towns to be given the full amount that was bid for, and received the fourth highest award overall.
When combined with funding from external partners and Tamworth Borough Council, the projects represents a combined investment in the town of around £40million.
Work is now taking place to progress this ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to develop a town centre that meets the needs of 21st century shoppers, residents and businesses.
There are five core elements of the project:
- College Quarter: The relocation of Tamworth College, part of South Staffordshire College, to a new building on the site of the Tamworth Co-operative Society department store
- Enterprise Hub: Refurbishment of the locally-listed part of the Tamworth Co-operative Society department store (the Colehill frontages) into a new enterprise centre for small businesses
- Middle Entry Refurb: Refurbishment and improvements to Middle Entry including a new semi-permanent structure for start-ups and niche businesses
- Castle Gateway: An improved entrance between the town centre and the Castle Grounds by enhancing the Castle Gatehouse area and adjoining Market Street properties
- St Editha's Square: The transformation of St Editha’s Square into a multi-purpose outdoor space for entertaining and events
An update on the FHSF project will be presented to members of Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet on Thursday, December 2. The agenda can be viewed here and a recording of the meeting will be available on the @TamworthCouncil YouTube channel afterwards.