Committee welcomes Town Centre Funding
Members of The Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have welcomed new funding to stimulate economic investments in Highland town centres to help them diversify and flourish.
In partnership with COSLA The Scottish Government have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020. Every local authority has received an allocation of the fund based on an equal weighting of the number of towns in a local authority (where a towns is a locality with a population equal to or greater than 1,000 people) and the local authority population. The total allocation ring-fenced for Highland is £2,965,000 – the 5th highest allocation in Scotland.
Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: “The Town Centre Fund will enable us to invest in local improvements and help town centres to become more diverse, successful and sustainable. This could include repurposing buildings and improving access and infrastructure. What we have is an opportunity to build on work already done to develop and implement town centre action plans that will increase footfall through local improvements and partnerships.
In line with the Council’s commitment to localism and to bring decision-making closer to communities local Area Committees will take on the role of identifying and recommending which projects receive funding.
Based on funding distribution methodology used by The Scottish Government but amended to give each Area Committee a base allocation and to reflect the importance that Thurso and Wick make to the Caithness community, indicative area allocations have been identified as follows:
Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee - £265,289
Caithness Committee - £265,290
City of Inverness Area Committee - £596,901
Isle of Skye and Rasaay Committee - £198,967
Lochaber Committee - £198,967
Nairnshire Committee - £198,967
Ross and Cromarty Committee - £928,513
Sutherland Committee - £198,967
Cllr Henderson added: “The money allocated to us has to be spent within the next 12 months. I would like to see this support for investing in our town centres continue. If it does we will be able to forward plan and look in detail at which projects can best re-purpose our town centres to help them become more diverse, successful and sustainable."