Funding boost helped town centres on route to Covid recovery

 Town centres and local businesses within the Malvern Hills District have benefitted from £140,000 of funding to help recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since June 2020, two consecutive funds have supported local businesses and town centres; the Reopening High Streets Safely fund and the Welcome Back Fund. MHDC was allocated a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets from the pandemic.

The funding, which ended on 31 March 2022, helped local businesses and high streets recover from the effects of the pandemic, provided safety advice and helped encourage visitors back to the area.

Overall, the Malvern Hills District was allocated approximately £140,000 from Malvern Hills District Council.

The Welcome Back Fund provided local councils a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets from the pandemic.

The funding built on the £50 million Reopening High Street Safely Fund allocated to councils in 2020.

The funds have helped support the following with the Malvern Hills District:

  • Town safety signage and measures, including hand sanitiser stations
  • Public realm enhancements - new benches/planting/flags
  • New and existing events
  • Great Malvern Gin Festival
  • Halloween outdoor cinema in Tenbury
  • Santa Needs You AR Trail in Tenbury, Malvern, and Upton on Severn
  • Christmas events in Barnards Green, Malvern Link and Tenbury
  • Upton Day of Jazz Festival
  • Campaigns and marketing including radio, video, and digital
  • Footfall data platform – providing data to help understand the levels of footfall, how events affect footfall, and what days of the week and times are the busiest
  • Consultancy support for Town Centre Plans
  • Town Centre Recovery Officer post
  • Local business support and advice

Cllr Daniel Walton, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Economic Development at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on our high streets and local businesses, and these Government funds were vital to help bring our town centres back to life and communities together. It's great to see how successful our various campaigns, activities, and support for businesses has been."

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