Rasen Town Council to bid for share of £40m regeneration pot

Market Rasen Market Place EMN-190804-162632001
Market Rasen Market Place EMN-190804-162632001

Market Rasen is set to apply for a share of a £40million Government fund to rejuvenate historic high streets.

Councillors at Market Rasen Town Council’s June meeting voted in favour of submitting an ‘expression of interest’ in the High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) programme, which is being run by Historic England.

The programme has been designed to support sustainable economic and cultural growth, enhance local historic character and make the high street a vibrant place for the community.

Speaking at the meeting, town and district councillor Steve Bunney said: “The High Streets Heritage Action Zones project has been opened up by the government.

“They [the government] wanted to do something for the small historical high streets - and Market Rasen does fit the criteria.

“All high streets with conservation areas are welcome to apply.

“I’ve discussed it with a number of people.

“It’s quite clear the Market Place in Market Rasen… some of the buildings are extremely bad.

“The whole purpose of this money is to build up buildings, not just shops.

“It’s important we develop this area of the town.

“We do need to make sure the district council is involved.”

Coun Bunney said West Lindsey District Council commercial director Eve Fawcett-Moralee had already spoken to officers about the funding bid.

And he said Ms Fawcett Moralee had agreed two officers would be able to provide support with the funding application.

Coun Bunney said the council would need to find someone to write the funding bid - which he estimated would cost around £3,500 - if it gets through an ‘expression of interest’. He said this money would either come from the £24,000 left over from the now defunct Market Rasen Business Improvement Group’s Portas Pilot funding, or from the £100,000 West Lindsey District Council town development fund.

Coun Bunney said: “If we don’t get through, we won’t have wasted our money.”

Coun Bunney also suggested the town council works with WLDC to review which areas of Market Rasen should be designated ‘conservation areas’.

He said: “It was last carried out in the 1980s.”

The initial bid must be submitted no later than July 12.