Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Head of Place, Property and Regeneration (circulated previously) regarding the High Street Task Force Support.
The Head of Place, Property and Regeneration highlighted the following:
· In February 2022, the High Street Task Force announced that 68 Local authorities would receive a package of expert advice and support, helping to deliver long term transformation to towns and cities in England.
· North Devon was announced as one of those Local Authorities.
· North Devon Council had to confirm acceptance of the support in March this year.
· In a webinar held on the 22 April, it had been advised that the Council needed to nominate a location for this support. The High Street Task Force require the Council to nominate its location by 27 May 2022.
· The offer was one of support rather than direct funding to boost local authority capacity, build sustainable place-making skills, provide an opportunity for information and data sharing and to co-ordinate a national approach.
· The support suggested a focus on a particular area as detailed in paragraph 4.3 of the report.
· What was included as part of the support as detailed in paragraph 4.4 of the report. The support was until June 2024.
· When considering which place to support, the Task Force suggested that the Council consider the Story so far (in an area), a focused area, need, capacity and the ongoing story. Building on existing work i.e. Future High Street Fund applicants etc.
· The development of officers’ skills as part of this process would enable these skills to be transferred to other places.
The Chief Executive advised that this support did not include financial support, however it would make sense to focus the support around the Future High Street Fund project in Barnstaple. Comments had been made previously by Members regarding Ilfracombe and levelling up, however funding and resources were currently being utilised for the Watersports Centre project.
The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that the outputs and learning gained from the High Street Task Force Support could be applied across other towns and this would provide a wider benefit to the whole of North Devon.
In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:
· If the Committee were minded to focus the support on Barnstaple High Street, it would complement the work of the Future High Street Fund project.
· The support would also include how to engage with the community and stakeholders and would provide project management advice.
In response to questions, the Head of Place, Property and Regeneration advised the following:
· The Task Force had confirmed that work should not be paused in advance of support but that the experts would wrap around plans.
· Devon County Council was also working with the Council in relation to town renewal looking at governance structures in place, build town strategy and delivery plans.
RESOLVED that Barnstaple High Street be confirmed as the nomination for the High Street Task Force support.
Publication date: 25/05/2022
Date of decision: 09/05/2022
Decided at meeting: 09/05/2022 - Strategy and Resources Committee