Market Rasen’s bid for a share of a £40million Government fund to rejuvenate historic high streets has made it through to the next stage of the process.
Earlier this year, Market Rasen Town Council submitted 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 Market Rasen Town Council’s September meeting, Mayor John Matthews said: “Our bid has been accepted for the High Street Action Zone fund.
“This means it’s been accepted for consideration, it hasn’t been thrown in the bin.”
West Lindsey District Council helped the town council with the initial application and an officer conducted surveys of residents.
Market Rasen Town Council’s Deputy Mayor, Steve Bunney said: “They [the government] wanted to do something for the small historical high streets - and Market Rasen does fit the criteria.
“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.”
And Coun Bunney said a WLDC officer was in the process of ‘challenging’ data which classed parts of Middle Rasen as Market Rasen - areas such as The Brambles where rates are paid to Middle Rasen Parish Council.
He said: “There’s a certain amount of wealth there which could count against our argument - that money [council tax] isn’t coming back to us.”
Speaking at a previous town council meeting, Coun Bunney said the council would need to find someone to write a full funding bid - which he estimated would cost around £3,500 - if Market Rasen got through the initial stage of the application process.
He said this money would either come from the cash left over from the now defunct Market Rasen Business Improvement Group’s Portas Pilot funding - which was returned to the town this month - or from the £100,000 West Lindsey District Council town development fund.