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Three towns in Eden District in Cumbria are celebrating after bids they placed for government cash to make their town centres more vibrant have been successful. The government’s Town Teams Initiative is backed by retail guru Mary Portas and three Eden towns Alston, Appleby (pictured) and Penrith will each be receiving £10,000 to take forward plans for their area.
Councillor Malcolm Smith, Eden District Council’s Planning and Economy Portfolio Holder, said “I’m delighted that a number of our communities will be benefitting from the advice and finance to take a number of their projects forward. The project is aimed at assisting Town Centres to remain vibrant places for the benefit of residents and businesses alike.”
The applications for the Town Team funding were submitted by Alston Moor Partnership, the Heart of Eden Development Trust (Appleby) and the Penrith Partnership and co-ordinated by Eden District Council’s Communities Team.
Each of the Town Team Partners will be able to access a support package from the Association of Town Centre Management. The support package aims to promote shared learning and best practice with the help of retail experts and other Town Teams from across the country. In addition each Town Team Partner will be receiving £10,000 to help towards putting some of their plans into action.
Penrith and the Borders MP, Rory Stewart MP who put forward the bids. said: "It's fantastic that all three of Eden's applications have been successful. The original bids that had been put in previously had been convincing applications to become Mary Portas Pilots, and it was disappointing that they were not chosen; however, it is right that all market towns with the energy and commitment to improve their environment benefit from this initiative, and so the shared learning that will come from being a Town Team Partner will, I am sure, be invaluable. I offer my congratulations to Penrith, Alston Moor and Heart of Eden on their success, and for continuing to dedicate themselves to the improvement of our market towns."
Pat Godwin, Eden District Councillor and member of the Alston Moor Partnership said, "The timing of this could not be bettered as we have just appointed a project officer to deliver items identified in our Community Plan and other projects to improve prosperity in Alston Moor. This money will enable that officer to have a central base/shopfront from which to function and be an information hub. It will also fund us to advance work on Walkers/Cyclist are Welcome, set up QR points and seasonal markets."