Westfield ward councillors have called on the Government’s new ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ to be used to deliver longer term improvements to Acomb’s Front Street.
Smaller improvements to the secondary shopping area have been carried out over the last few years, with funds allocated for local events and Acomb Alive traders group. Further improvements for local signage, mural and business engagement were agreed back in April by the Council’s Executive.
Acomb Library learning centre is also set to receive another boost as part of the Council’s £7million library improvement programme.
Local Councillor Simon Daubeney spoke at a meeting of the Council’s Executive last week (16th May) to press the case for funding to be secured from the Government’s ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’. Officers at the meeting noted that such a bid could be a very good fit for the fund’s aims and criteria.
The shared property fund is a new programme of funding spread over three years on projects based on community and place, supporting local business and people and skills. The funding is set to be agreed through engagement with key city partners and organisations.
Cllr Simon Daubeney, Local Lib Dem councillor for Westfield ward, commented:
“Acomb’s Front Street plays a vital role in the local community and the wider city, and is home to many established and well-loved local independent retailers and community spaces. It has a lower than national average proportion of empty units, with occupancy rates bucking the UK trend by increasing over the last few years.
“There is some progress being made in delivering improvements to the area, however, I and my ward colleagues appreciate that more funding is necessary. The Shared Prosperity Fund presents an opportunity for funding for longer term improvements to be secured for the area. Together with my ward colleagues, we are working to identify solutions which could make a real difference to the area, supporting the community as well as local businesses.”