A new £4million Towns and Villages Improvement Fund aims to help reinvigorate town and village centres across the Rotherham borough.
The fund, which was supported by Rotherham Council’s Cabinet as part of its 2021/22 capital budget last week, will be used to brighten up neglected areas in smaller town and village centres, helping to restore confidence and a little civic pride in communities and also support local businesses.
If the scheme gets the final go ahead when the budget goes to Full Council this week, it could be used to deliver a variety of physical improvements, identified as priorities by local people, organisations and ward councillors, which could include:
- Provision or replacement of street furniture, such as benches, planters, railings to improve the feel of the place, and encourage enhanced use
- Replacement of street lighting columns or improvement to lighting or CCTV to make places feel safe and secure.
- Improvement of shrub beds, planting or trees
- Improvements to pavements or other public infrastructure, to improve the look and feel of village and town centres
Councillor Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, said: “Our Rotherham Town Centre Masterplan and the numerous schemes we’re bringing forward to breathe new life into our main commercial centre are well-known, but as that work progresses it’s also right that where we can we also invest in our local centres.
“Attractive village and town centres enhance the wellbeing of our communities and people who use them day-in, day-out. What we are setting out in our budget proposals is new funding to help these areas feel more welcoming, which in turn will support businesses and the economic development of communities. As the scheme rolls out, we will be keen to hear what local residents would like to see in their areas.”
Councillors in each area will be asked to develop initial expressions of interest for schemes in their area and subject to final agreement of the funding in the Council’s budget, a process for prioritisation will be developed.
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