Plans for £191k ‘Welcome Back’ funding for Thanet revealed

Welcome Back campaign (Image TDC)

Signage, temporary traffic measures, litter stations and additional cleansing are some of the areas that £191,456 of government funding for Thanet will be spent on.

The cash, from the government Welcome Back fund, is aimed at helping high streets reopen and attract shoppers and tourists.

It is part of a wider package of measures to revitalise high streets and level up communities – including steps to make it easier for venues to serve customers outdoors and set up market stalls this Summer.

Councils can use the funding to hold street markets and festivals, boost the look and feel of their high streets, with more seating areas and street planting, tackle graffiti, and install new signage to help keep people safe as restrictions are lifted.

Each local authority allocated funding is required to submit an Action Plan for approval, which outlines proposed activities and how the funding will be spent.

Thanet council’s Action Plan was submitted on June 8.

It was agreed by council members that £65,000 of the funding, which was specifically allocated to Thanet for being a coastal resort, will be used to bolster the  existing Beach Management Plan.

A time limit of the end of March 2022 is set for the money to be spent but it is expected that most of the spend will happen in the first few months this summer when large numbers of visitors are likely to come to Thanet.

The overview of how the grant will be spent is:

Signage and communication activity  – £30,956

Temporary traffic measures (including road closures and parking bay suspensions to aid social distancing)  – £10,000

Direct local business support – £30,000 (including continuation of our external Business Support Consultant)

Management, claiming, monitoring and evaluation of the fund – £23,000

Footfall and spend data – £10,500 (this is a requirement)

Planting and maintenance – £22,000

Allocation to Beach Management Plan – £65, 000 (activities identified include; additional cleansing, beach safety signage, litter stations, cameras and public messaging)

The funding cannot be claimed until grant agreements are signed.

Thanet District Council is one of 70 councils across England that will get additional  support through the new High Streets Taskforce, a group of high streets experts who will visit the area to provide advice on how to adapt to changing consumer demands.

Ramsgate Town Council has offered to match fund any money coming to the town for planting although is yet to receive a response.

Thanet to receive £191k government funding to help high streets reopen