Major cash boost for towns

Fenkle Street, Alnwick
Fenkle Street, Alnwick

Alnwick and Amble are to receive important cash injections, as part of a national programme to boost town centres.

Both towns have successfully applied to become a Town Team Partner (TTP) and will each bag £10,000 to help put their plans into action.

Queen Street, Amble

Queen Street, Amble

The TTP scheme was set up to support those who had not been successful in the Portas Pilot programme, launched earlier this year to try to regenerate high streets.

As well as the five-figure cash boost, the successful TTPs will be able to access a support package which aims to promote shared learning and best practice with the help of retail experts and other TTPs.

Representatives behind the Alnwick and Amble bids are delighted at the news.

In Alnwick, the neighbourhood planning team which put the bid together plans to promote the town as a must-see tourist destination and a centre for local Northumbrian produce and is aiming to encourage more people to visit the town and explore parts of the town centre that sometimes get missed.

The team will also work to generate town publicity and review marketing material.

Chairman of the group, Alan Symmonds, said: “I’m delighted that we are now in a position to deliver aspects of our bid. We will use the funding to try to lever additional resources from other funders and use it to look at ways of improving footfall, through for example, improved signage.”

Amble’s bid was co-ordinated by Amble Development Trust, with two strands to the application.

The Try Amble First campaign is to encourage locals to use shops and amenities in the town, instead of going further afield.

It is hoped that this will help build awareness of the good value and great customer service from local businesses.

There is also a plan to hold two festivals per year to encourage tourism and activities to increase spend in Amble and the high street, such as the puffin festival in early summer and a Christmas festival.

Director of the development trust, Julia Aston, said: “It is always good to be awarded money. We are very happy.”