Transforming Tamworth is about a whole range of plans and initiatives, all coming together to change the town for the better. Some involve successful bids for funding to external or Government bodies, while others involve investment from Tamworth Borough Council.
While the Future High Streets Fund work is the core programme, it also represents the opportunity to look at and improve as many aspects of the town centre as possible, to ensure Tamworth becomes a top destination to work, visit and explore.
Every project is another piece of the puzzle, another step of the journey.
You can read more about the various projects below.
In 2018, Tamworth Borough Council successfully bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to win a grant of £499,900. This was combined with funding from Tamworth Borough Council, the Ready to Borrow Scheme, supported by the Arts Council England and the Friends of Tamworth Castle to create a brand new Anglo-Saxon themed exhibition, complete with mead hall, interactive games, a unique touch-table battle strategy game, and additional pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard.
Following delays caused by the pandemic, the exhibition finally opened in May 2021, with TV historian Michael Wood carrying out the official ribbon-cutting.
In 2020, Tamworth Borough Council twice successfully bid to the Government's £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to help protect the future of the nation’s creative and cultural organisations in the wake of the pandemic.
A total of £370,000 awarded to Tamworth Castle has funded many additional new features to enhance the visitor experience and to improve the castle's digital offering to reach wider audiences.
This includes the creation of an amazing new Augmented Reality trail, which brings the castle's characters, stories and artefacts to life, a new online educational resource for schools and the start of a process to digitise the castle museum's collection of more than 40,000 items. This will be available online. Read more about all of these projects on the Tamworth Castle website.
Other improvements include a brand new multicolour external lighting scheme, an enhanced weddings package, improving the Castle Kiosk for drinks and refreshments and an impending new trail of interpretation panels in the Castle Grounds.
* A further £126,150 was awarded to Tamworth Assembly Rooms from the Culture Recovery Fund to help the theatre adapt to the pandemic.
Tamworth Castle Grounds
Tamworth Borough Council has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds into the stunning Castle Grounds recently to make it even more appealing to residents and visitors. This has included a brand new £375,000 adventure playground opened in the summer of 2021, which has modern new equipment and a bigger focus on inclusivity.
This was in addition to the installation of new outdoor gym equipment, new table tennis tables, additional family picnic benches and the planting of new trees.
Next on the agenda will be a brand new tennis courts pitch.
Welcome Back Fund
A new augmented reality trail is being developed for Tamworth town centre as part of new funding to be spent on encouraging people back to the high street in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tamworth Borough Council has been awarded £67,455 from the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund to help support the wider reopening of the town centre through a variety of activities.
As well as the development of the augmented reality trail, the money will also be used to carry out some improvements to the town centre, including additional deep cleans, painting and new bins.
Money will also be invested in promotional campaigns to support the town’s business community and for a special event celebrating our town centre offer.
These activities have to be delivered before the end of March 2022.
Tamworth Enterprise Quarter
This £6.2million investment focused on regenerating the Corporation Street area of the Tamworth, including a major overhaul of the 130-year-old Tamworth Assembly Rooms, creating a brand new business enterprise centre at the Philip Dix Centre and refurbishing the Carnegie Centre.
The latter is the final piece of the puzzle and while the pandemic has delayed plans for the centre, refurbishment work has started to convert the building into a restaurant.
The lease for the Carnegie Centre in Corporation Street has been taken on by Jitu Miah, who has revealed his plans to bring a brand new ‘theatrical’ dining experience concept to the town.
The Enterprise Quarter was funded by the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent LEP’s Single Local Growth Fund (£2.95m), the Heritage Lottery Fund (£903,400), Arts Council England (£365,000) and the remainder from Tamworth Borough Council.
Gateways Project – Phase 3
The Tamworth Town Centre Masterplan sets out an urban design framework for the town centre. This focuses on improving a number of the ‘gateways’ around the town centre – that is looking at key routes in and out of the town centre and making them as attractive and user-friendly as possible. So far, the Gateways Project has improved access and design of Ladybridge and Victoria Road.
We also have indicative designs to improve the layout and appearance of Corporation Street and Church Street in a third phase of the project. This sits within the Tamworth Enterprise Quarter, which itself has undergone significant change in recent years, as detailed above, to bring new economic vibrancy to the area.
This third phase would improve the pedestrian environment and public interchange and seek to redefine Corporation Street and Church Street as high quality business, retail and leisure environments. It would look at things like layout and design of the bus stops, the road surface, seating areas and planting.
However, while this is a project that has been designed in principle, funding still needs to be found to enable us to bring such a scheme to fruition. We are currently exploring potential funding pots that we could apply to. Any draft plans would then be put out to public engagement.