|Torridge Councillors have approved the transfer of over 62% of the £161K funding it received from central government under the “Welcome Back Funding” scheme to the Town Councils of Bideford, Great Torrington, Holsworthy and Northam. The money will be used to support the Towns respective reopening projects as the country begins to emerge from lockdown and restrictions.|
|The move recognises the important role Town Councils will have in helping high streets to reopen safely and help the economy “build back better” from the pandemic. Torridge Council will also be using the retained part of the funding to support coastal resorts and important tourism sector as they prepare for a surge in summer visitors this summer. This will include additional Street Marshals in Bideford supporting the night-time economy and increased public toilet provision and waste and cleansing services in resort hot-spots. Other projects have already been implemented such as the painting of the Sea Wall in Westward Ho! to create a more appealing entrance to this important Blue Flag resort. The District Council will work with the Towns through delivery partnership arrangements but the expectation is that Towns will also manage their own opportunities and priorities, decided at a more local level.
The formula for allocating the funding was based on an allocation of 70% based on the number of properties in each area and 30% on the geographical area of each Town Council. Under these arrangements Bideford will receive around £40K, Northam £34K, Great Torrington £18K and Holsworthy £8K. Accountability for the money spent will be managed by Torridge.
Torridge District Councillor Bob Hicks – Lead Member for the Economy said:
“We very much hope that the easing of restrictions on business operations will see a resurgence in their fortunes and the funding will go some way to ensuring that this return to normality can be achieved safely. Giving Towns some autonomy over the spending will allow them to focus on local priorities with support from the District Council in the mix as well.”