Funding available to help Shropshire’s market towns attract visitors

More than £130,000 is being made available to help Shropshire’s market towns attract and encourage visitors as lockdown measures start to ease.

The Mere at Ellesmere. Photo: Shropshire Council
The Mere at Ellesmere. Photo: Shropshire Council

£117,000 will be split between seven towns that have been impacted by both coronavirus and by flooding earlier in the year, with Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Shifnal receiving support.

A further £20,000 of funding – with grants of up to £5,000 – are available to Shropshire’s smaller market towns, who will be able to bid for the funding in an open competition. Applications will open on Monday, 20 July, and close on Friday 31 July 2020.

The money has been made available through the Marches LEP’s Marches Investment Fund and can be used to support innovative projects that will attract visitors and drive confidence and footfall. This may include social distancing measures.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said:

“We know all too well the devastating impact that flooding and coronavirus have had on market towns. Now, as lockdown measures are eased and visitors start to return to our town centres, I’m really pleased that we can make this funding available.

“It needs to be spent on campaigns or measures that will help them attract visitors, but they’ll need to make sure that people can visit in a safe manner in line with the latest social distancing guidance. I look forward to seeing the ideas and suggestions that come forward.”

Applications for the £5,000 grants can be made by the local town council, or community groups who are supported in their application by the town council and local councillor.

Applications must be submitted by email to Shropshire to both visitor.economy@shropshire.gov.uk and invest@shropshire.gov.uk by 11.59pm on Friday 31 July. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

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