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Partnership formed to revitalise Cannock could be extended for £30k

By Jordan Reynolds | Cannock | Business | Published:

A partnership formed to revitalise Cannock town centre could be extended for another year – at a cost of more than £30,000.

Cannock town centre

Cannock Town Centre Partnership was formed in November last year and now Cannock Chase District Council will discuss an extension to give it “the opportunity to further establish itself and identify opportunities to become self-sustaining”.

The partnership is led by a board with 12 members and is working to "establish itself" and organise events in the town to "increase footfall and visitor experience".

It comes after long-established fruit and veg shop Fletchers was forced to close last week with 11 people losing their jobs.

Owners blamed a drop in footfall on the closure, and said the business went into liquidation. They also said they do not know if customers will be refunded deposits already paid.

A report going to the meeting says it is "too early to fully evaluate how successful the partnership has been to date" but that there is "evidence that it is moving in the right direction".

And now cabinet is being recommended to approve spending £34,500 to extend the role of the Cannock Town Centre Partnership officer for a year, which will come from section 106 money from the Mill Green project to build a £160 million designer outlet.

The council's section 106 account – which comes from developers contributing towards community projects as a condition of planning permission – currently has £50,604 in it and the authority is expecting a further £50,000 due early next year.

The current funding for the role will run out on May 31 next year and the council says there are no resources to continue funding it from core budgets, and the partnership has not developed a financial strategy to sustain the role.

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The report adds: "It is proposed that by extending the role for a further 12 months this will be sufficiently long enough to give the partnership the opportunity to further establish itself and identify opportunities to become self-sustaining.

"The officer plays an important role in the partnership with planning of the events, including production of event management plans and risk assessments, by extending the role of the TCPO for a further 12 months will only enhance, expand and strengthen this further.

"The presence of the officer in the town has prompted more businesses and stakeholders to become involved with the partnership, with ideas and suggestions on how to make improvements being made via social media."

Community events being looked at for next year by the partnership include a VE Celebration, bringing back the Charter Fair into the town, Easter celebration and working with Arts Connect for sponsorship to support art in the community.

The council's cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss the plans.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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