Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Derbyshire Dales District Council finalising £15m bid for Ashbourne regeneration

Derbyshire Dales District Council is in the process of finalising its bid to the Levelling Up Fund for a £15 million package of projects in Ashbourne town centre.

The bid, into round two of the Government initiative, will be submitted by 6 July and is designed to transform Ashbourne’s town centre.

District Council leader councillor Garry Purdy said: “We are working incredibly hard on this with partners and Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines, whose support is crucial.

“Together we are aiming to reverse decline in parts of Ashbourne, create vibrant public squares and yards, and give people lots of reasons to visit within a safe and welcoming environment. We want to restore the pride in place in Ashbourne.”

The bid has been developed through close working with a number of local partners who have brought forward project ideas, identified opportunities and raised match-funding for the bid. These partners include the Ashbourne Town Team, Ashbourne Town Council, AshCom, Ashbourne Methodist Church and Derbyshire County Council.

There are two distinct project areas. The first is public realm improvement, delivering a series of transformed public spaces including Market Place, Victoria Square, Millennium Square and Shrovetide Walk.

Connections between these spaces will also be improved and a comprehensive set of improvements along Compton, Dig Street and St John Street will create a far better pedestrian experience, reducing the impact of vehicles and improving safety.

“The changes will celebrate the town’s heritage while enabling a wide variety of future events to bring new life to the centre of the town. Together they will create an environment where businesses will want to locate and invest, and residents and visitors spend time whilst supporting the local economy,” said Councillor Purdy.

The second project area focuses on a new community hub, transforming the Methodist Church into a multi-purpose community building to provide a wide range of event and meeting spaces, a performance venue and flexible work areas with high quality digital provision.

The hub will also link to a range of sustainable transport options to improve connectivity, including charging for e-bikes and scooters and connections to the Tissington Trail.

Councillor Purdy added: “The venue will offer a fresh, modern range of accommodation options for groups and families and an outdoor riverside garden event space. Together this will greatly enhance the town centre offer, providing a venue that will bring more people into the town centre while improving links to wider destinations.”

If the bid is successful work could begin as soon as late autumn this year.

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