Issue - meetings
Town Centre Regeneration
Meeting: 18/05/2021 - Cabinet (Item 132)
As detailed in the recommendations.
The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager introduced the report and explained that smaller town centres across the UK had been facing challenging economic circumstances for many years due to changing customer behaviours. The Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated those trends although it remained too early to understand the long term impacts of the pandemic.
The report provided an update on the strategic context for town centre regeneration, the funding currently available to support it and the programmes of work underway in Flintshire. The report proposed an increased emphasis on intervention to create more sustainable use of properties within town centres.
There was an increased Welsh Government (WG) focus on empty town centre properties with a refocusing of their loans programme, with local authorities being encouraged to use their enforcement powers more fully to bring units back into use. WG would be supporting each area to develop an action plan for that work.
In order to deliver the programme effectively increased resources would need to be made available. It was anticipated that, in the short term, a suitably experienced and qualified manager role would be required to drive forward the regeneration programme together with some modern trainee support to the team to free up time for project delivery. The estimated annual revenue cost was outlined in the report.
The report had been submitted to Environment and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee where it was fully supported.
Councillor Roberts welcomed the report and commented on the successful regeneration works that had taken place in Flint and Holywell, and he was pleased to note how vibrant Mold was. Discussions were underway on Buckley Town Centre and a masterplan was being developed for Shotton. A masterplan for Connah’s Quay would also need to be developed. In addition, smaller communities needed to be considered.
The Chief Executive explained that a separate discussion needed to take place on how the Council would resource aspects included within the Council Plan. A report would be submitted to a future meeting.
Councillor Jones also welcomed the report and asked that reference to people with learning difficulties and autism be included in paragraph 1.14.
(a) That the progress in delivering the priorities for town centre regeneration agreed at the March 2020 Cabinet meeting be noted;
(b) That the resource implications of delivering the programme be noted, and that they will be considered for inclusion in the development of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Programme; and
(c) That delegated authority be given to the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economic Development to bid for external funding as it becomes available to support the approaches to town centre regeneration set out in the report.