Historic England – bid to the High Streets Heritage Action Zones programme for substantial grant funding

The Town Team, Dorset Council and Blandford Forum Town Council submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) on Friday 12th July to HE’s HSHAZ programme for substantial funding to address improvements to the town centre, notably pedestrianisation and visual improvements to the market area, better access for pedestrians and the disabled, a new cultural programme and grant funding for shop front and facade enhancements. The programme can provide up to 50% to match funds provided by local authorities, including 106, businesses and other sources. The EoI was prepared by Town Team members, including Town Museum, St Peter and St Paul church, the Civic Society and the Fording Point project, chair of the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan and with BFTC support. It was pulled together and edited by Hugh de Iongh (Dorset Council’s Community Led Development Officer) who worked extremely hard to complete and submit the EoI in time to reach the midday Friday deadline. Thank you Hugh. Full details are listed below – click on the link. It will be September 2019 before we know if we’ve been successful. Please e-mail [email protected] if you would like to comment on the EoI. There will be a number of public sessions to explain proposals and get

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X8A bus service and best use of Lidl 106 Funding 1

X8A bus service and best use of Lidl 106 Funding

Background and purpose North Dorset District Council (NDDC) allocated £250,957 of Section 106 Lidl store funding to provide a bus service to take people from the Lidl store into town. The purpose of the X8A is to mitigate the impact of the store on the town centre. The bus provides two journeys per hour, between 9 am and 5 pm, from Monday to Saturday from the Lidl store into the town centre. But is it being used by sufficient people to make it worthwhile? A better service or better use of funding Readers will know that the service is invariably empty, or at best carries one or two people. Bus service professionals say that a full sized single decker bus is essential to provide compatibility with the rest of the fleet and for disabled access. There is also a widely held view that the money should either be reallocated to other projects, or the route changed to bring more people into the town centre. The Town Team submitted a Freedom of Information Request in June 2018 to query the costs, usage, timetable, route and justification for the amount of money allocated to the service. While the X8A is greatly appreciated by the

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