On August 6, 2020, the Torbay Council (UK) submitted a final bid for more than £19 million Future High Streets Funding for the exciting transformation of Paignton town centre.
Paignton town center faces significant social, economic and environmental challenges, which limit its ability to achieve its full potential. COVID-19 has accelerated town center decline and underlined the need for significant funding to regenerate Paignton.
Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Tourism, said “The final bid follows months of hard work by Members and Officers. The bid is in line with the views and ambitions of local residents and businesses, all of who want to see successful regeneration of the town centre happen quickly. Greater diversity and resilience to change is vital for Paignton. At present very few people live in the town centre and residential sales values are over 14% lower there than in the rest of Paignton. Delivering more, high quality homes to meet market demand and business needs will help drive more footfall, spend, diversity and increase land values. This is a very exciting time for Paignton.”
The bid asks for Future High Streets Funding for infrastructure improvements, such as the Paignton Flood Defence Scheme, Paignton Station Square and Torbay Road; for over 400 new homes in the town centre, at Crossways, Victoria Centre and two major properties on Paignton Station Square; and for an enhanced cultural offer by bringing Paignton Picture House back into use.
Steve Darling, Liberal Democrat Leader of Torbay Council, explained “This is a hugely difficult time for Torbay, as we emerge from the health impacts of COVID-19 and start to see its full economic impacts. Future High Streets Funding is vital for Paignton Town Centre, to support the recovery and repositioning of the town centre in the wake of C-19 and for the long term sustainability of businesses in Paignton. Over 75% of businesses in Paignton town centre are independently owned. They employ local people and provide valued local services. So their success is vital to people and families in Torbay.”
The Council has shown that Future High Streets Funding of £19.2 million would be matched by other private and public investment into Paignton town centre totaling £140 million. Every £1 of Future High Streets Funding would secure approximately £7 of further investment.
The Council has also shown that, as a result of Future High Streets funding, land values in Paignton town centre would increase by almost £50 million, just under 80 permanent jobs will be created and over 400 homes would be provided for young people, families, retired and older people.
Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Finance, concluded “This Council’s bid is supported by 24 regional and local organisations, local MPs, business and community representatives, health care organisations and transport companies. The Council is very grateful to all those people and organisations, from the Heart of the South West LEP to Torbay Road Traders Association, for their support. We expect an announcement about funding before Christmas and will continue to work hard to ensure Paignton is successful.”
The Council’s bid focuses on the heart of the town center, including Paignton Station Square, Torbay Road and the big opportunity sites at Crossways and Victoria Centre.
Photo of Paignton Harbor via Pixabay.