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Agenda item

Future High Street Fund Quarterly Update

(Report of the Leader of the Council)


Report of the Leader of the Council to provide an update on the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) programme of works.

The Chair introduced the Leader of the Council, Councillor P Turner, who introduced the Assistant Director, Regeneration and Growth, Anna Miller and Future High Streets Fund Project Officer, Communities, Planning and Partnerships, Alice Poulton.

The Future High Streets Fund Project Officer, Alice Poulton introduced the report noting that since the report was released, there had been a decision on the change in scope of the Middle Entry Project and they were ready to sign the Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA). It was also noted that the report stated that the refurbishment of the Tamworth Enterprise Centre (TEC) had been due to start in Autumn, but this is now expected to start in August.


The Committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:


1.    Clarification around the removal of Street Furniture at The Peel Café as it was noted that these are well used during the summer? It was confirmed that  five benches and a large planter were being removed but that they are trying to leave moving them to as close to the work start date as possible.


2.    Whether any consideration had been given to Royal British Legion Parade which takes place through the Town Centre in November? It was reported that Officers had been liaising with Arts and Events team around events but this one had not been raised. Officers suggested that the route of the Parade may not be too affected, however they would raise it at the monthly delivery meeting attended by arts and events, the next meeting is next week.


3.    Confirmation that the College had funding in place for their building? It was confirmed by officers that the College had full funding in place and were hoping to open by the end of next year.


4.    Clarification around the scope of works now for Middle Entry and whether this had changed, and how this was being financed if not? It was reported that the project was continuing with the full scope of works and that a report was being submitted to Full Council in July asking for additional Capital Monies to attach to the project. It was reported that the initial requirement by Government was to spend Monies by end of March 2024 and Council was hoping to commit the money by then, but that delivery could go beyond this date.  Money committed to the project by Tamworth Borough Council would not be bound by the government timelines for spend. 



5.    It was questioned whether work on The Peel café and the Market Street properties on the other side of the road would be overlap and when cost estimates could be expected? Officers confirmed that they would be on site soon at the Peel Café whilst the work on the Market Street properties would be in 3 phases. Phase 1, making safe and watertight, Phase 2, drying out the properties and applying for planning consents and Phase 3 which would be the refitting of the properties. Phase 1 may be implemented whilst the Peel Café works are ongoing. Officers advised that early draft estimates could be available in August/September 2023.



6.    Clarification was sought around the level of Communication with businesses affected by the works and whether business had been approached directly? Officers reported that there was information displayed on the Transforming Tamworth Website but acknowledge that feedback has suggested that information was not reaching all audiences, and that this was being explored. The Portfolio Holder confirmed that as the project progresses, Officers would be tasked with visiting shops and taking documents to businesses. It was reported that information was planned to be displayed on hoarding, but they have held back on this due to timescales moving and awaiting planning being approved to avoid giving misinformation. Officers also confirmed that business affected by planning applications would have been notified via the planning service.

It was also noted that monthly engagement sessions had been held for a number of years, but these had not been well attended.
A business engagement session was held in October 2021 to discuss this and other projects and representatives from approximately 40 business attended, and everyone was given an engagement pack.

It was reported that Speller Metcalfe would have a site hub within the YMCA building in Market Street where Site Managers would be available and they will be delivering daily comms on the ground as part of the works, in fact it was one of the reasons why they were appointed because having so many projects in a very small town centre was going to need a lot of communications. Speller Metcalf have a very good reputation for keeping people involved.






That the Committee endorsed the report.


(Moved by Councillor T Clements and seconded by Councillor R Claymore)





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