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Town Centre Revitalisation Fund

Town Vitality Funding

On 12 February 2020 Cornwall Council approved a Place Policy and set-up a £4 million Town Centre Revitalisation Fund (TCRF). This funding is to support towns in Cornwall to work on and develop investment proposals.

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On 22 July the Council approved up to £1 million for town development allocations to support towns to develop investment plans. View more information on Place Shaping Framework.

This funding is in response to the Vitality of Towns Inquiry which concluded in September 2019. This Inquiry identified a set forward looking recommendations for towns to help their future vitality. This fund will assist towns to ensure that their town centres continue to be vibrant. It aims to help address the decline in the high street retail sector. View more information on Vitality of High Street inquiry.

The Town Centre Revitalisation Fund (TCRF) will support towns in Cornwall. The first phase of Grant Funding of up to £1m is available for Town Development activities. This funding is available to towns in allocations of up to £150k per town, depending on size and need (please see below table).

The TCRF Town Vitality Funding is an important opportunity to help the delivery of place shaping objectives in Cornwall’s towns. It will also assist with the recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

TCRF Town Vitality grants are to fund revenue activities only.

The grant is being made available to towns to progress specific development work. Funding can help advance plans that will improve the economic, social and environmental issues of their Town Centres. The types of activities include, but not limited to:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Conceptual designs
  • Community/stakeholder engagement
  • Demand studies
  • Targeted research
  • Commissioning of professional/specialist expertise to provide technical advice, etc
  • Bid writing capacity/expertise

Towns across Cornwall are likely to see a higher turnover of shops and other uses in their town centres. The re-purposing of buildings within their centres will be important into the future. The key to future vibrancy will be to maintain activity to ensure that Town Centres remain ‘bustling’ and vibrant.

The TCRF Town Vitality funding will help development work prioritised by towns. Towns will need to consider how their centres can support a new mixed-use environment. A new focus should be on encouraging a diverse experience and offer in town centres. This could include:

  • improving parks, green spaces and public realm;
  • changes in use that make best use of Towns’ built, cultural and heritage assets;
  • ‘re-greening’ of town centres and public spaces.
  • Providing cleaner and safer environments.
  • Less dependency on the car.
  • Improved green infrastructure and improved connectivity across and within Towns.

Town Vitality funding is available to support the development of investment proposals for towns in Cornwall. Towns cannot be in receipt of the Government’s Future High Street or Town Deal funding.

The lead applicant and ‘Accountable Body’ for Town Vitality funding must be a Town Council.

To be eligible for Town Vitality funding, the applicant Town must have a High Street with a cluster of 15 or more retailers within 150 metres. To show readiness for Town Vitality funding, Towns must have a ‘Town Team’ or ‘Place Shaping Partnership’ in place. These Town Teams/Place Partnerships can take many forms. Towns must be able to evidence that they have a working and functioning partnership in place. There should also be a plan or strategy for the revitalisation of their Town Centre (either in whole or part).

Eligible Towns can apply to access Town Vitality funding in line with the table below.

Population

Indicative Grant (£)

Up to 10,000

Up to £50,000

10-20,000

Up to £100,000

20,000 +

Up to £150,000

 

The above figures are indicative only. The population size of each Town will be one of the measures used to determine the grant that Cornwall Council will consider, as will

  • the outcome/s proposals can deliver
  • the impact of the investment sought
  • evidence of need (and opportunity) within the application submitted
  • value for money

Grants will also take into consideration the extent to which the proposed activities align with the Town’s vision and priorities.

You can submit your applications from Monday 16 November 2020 until 5pm on 31 March 2021. The total sum of funding sought by each Town must not exceed the Grant figure as set out in the above table.

All eligible applications will be assessed at interval dates. A panel of Council Service Directorate representatives will meet to recommend grant awards:

  1. mid December 2020
  2. mid to late January 2021
  3. mid March 2021

To access TRCF Town Vitality funding, eligible towns must complete the Application Form.

Please read the Application Form and Guidance document. This will give you tips to completing the form.

A Place Shaping Vision and Priorities Toolkit has been developed. This should help towns with identifying and prioritising their community’s vision and priorities. Over time, this could develop into a longer-term investment plan.

This vision and prioritisation process will aid towns to develop and submit an application for revenue funding. It will assist with the delivery of specific feasibility, concept design, engagement work.

Applicants are encouraged to open conversations with their Community Link Officers (CLOs). They will be able to assist you with any answers to questions that you may have. Community Link Officers can also help you find any further information you need to complete your application form. Engagement with Community Link Officers is critical as they will need to confirm the Town’s readiness for Town Vitality funding.

Towns will need to show how their place shaping vision and priorities fit with local and wider area based plans and strategies.

Applicants will receive a reply in writing.

Successful applications will receive a Grant Offer Letter. This will set out the amount of grant that has been awarded. It will also detail the terms and conditions that will apply and the timescale within which the grant must be spent.