Market Rasen’s funding bid for a share of a £40million Government pot to rejuvenate historic high streets is under way.
A West Lindsey District Council officer has written a first draft of the funding application for the High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) programme, being run by Historic England.
Speaking at Market Rasen Town Council’s July meeting, town and district councillor Steve Bunney said: “[A West Lindsey District Council officer] is working on the bid - she’s produced a first draft.
“She’s done a lot of work on producing surveys.
“We’ve had about 40 or 50 written ones back, which might not seem a lot, but in terms of surveying, is good. And quite a lot done online.
“Market Rasen is not just a tourist centre, but the tourist economy is what we’re looking at, and the main issues are around the [former] banks and King Street.
“The two biggest eyesores are the old HSBC and NatWest banks.
“Her [the WLDC officer] argument is, the town needs money to do these areas up.
“West Lindsey officers - they’ve got expertise of helping other areas in the district.”
Coun Bunney said the 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.”
Councillors at Market Rasen Town Council’s June meeting voted in favour of submitting an ‘expression of interest’ in the programme.
And Coun Bunney said West Lindsey District Council commercial director Eve Fawcett-Moralee had agreed two officers would be able to provide support with the funding application.
If the town gets through the first round of the application process, it will then need to appoint someone to write a full application.
Coun Bunney estimates this will set the town back about £3,500.
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.