Warwick has scooped a share of a £56 million fund to help high streets recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welcome Back Fund is from HM Government via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets and helping towns build back better after a tough 18 months.
It has already been used for a range of improvements in Warwick town centre, including revamping street furniture, providing benches and olive trees to replace previous barriers in the Market Square and installing new planters to replace barriers and improve the first impression to people arriving in the town.
The fund has enabled continuation of the town’s Ambassadors who ensure visitors get the most out of their visit to the town, providing an extension to Warwick Visitor Centre. The Chamber has also produced a promotional video to showcase Warwick’s thriving food and drink scene as part of its appeal as a staycation destination.
Warwick is now being showcased as to how town centres can use the funding to help make improvements and recover after the COVID pandemic.
Sue Butcher, chairman of Warwick Chamber of Trade, said: “We were delighted to help use this funding that goes a long way to helping our town centre recovery. From improvements to the town centre’s appearance like the street furniture painting, planters, trees and benches to the Town Ambassadors and our promotional video, all of the things we have spent this money on will help promote Warwick as a destination and encourage more people to come to our town.
“The last 18 months have been particularly hard for the high street and we’re keen to do everything we can to support our members and the town as a whole. We’ve already had plenty of compliments from residents and visitors and are looking forward to doing even more to promote Warwick on the regional, national and international stage.”
The deployment of the fund involved strict requirements and the Chamber of Trade worked closely with Warwick District Council to enable this.
“Making Warwick such a special place really is a joint effort,” added Ms Butcher. “Warwick Chamber of Trade, Warwick Town Council and CJ Events all work together along with the many independent businesses in Warwick and the District Council to ensure we do as much as we can to show off our wonderful town. We look forward to welcoming people from across the country over the coming month.”