£400,000 for Herts Shopping Centres

19 March 2010, 05:00

Shopping centres, hit by the recession, are set to benefit from grant money worth more than £400,000.

The money has been made available through the Hertfordshire Forward Partnership, which was awarded a multi-million 'performance reward grant' last year for meeting a range of targets outlined in the country's first Local Area Agreement (LAA). The LAA is a contract between central and local government to help improve services for local people.

A proportion of that grant money has been allocated to a major 'Recession to Recovery' programme - a package of projects to help offset the impact of the recession in Hertfordshire.

Within that programme, £500,000 has been made available for supporting town and neighbourhood shopping centres through the development of innovative schemes to aid their recovery.

The money has been allocated to seven individual shopping centre projects promoted by Hertfordshire’s district and borough councils. In all, seven projects submitted by the various councils were successful in bidding for funding, having been selected by an independent panel of regional representatives, and will receive a total of £405,000 between them.

Robert Gordon is the Chairman of Hertfordshire Forward and leader of the Council. He's been telling Heart;

"Planning for economic recovery in the wake of the recession is a high priority for the county council and the members of the Hertfordshire Forward Partnership, and we're now beginning to see a range of innovative, practical projects getting underway, to give a much-needed boost for local businesses and communities, thanks to the substantial grant awarded to Hertfordshire last year.

"We're grateful to our partners in the districts and boroughs who submitted bids for individual projects in their areas, and to the members of the panel who took on the unenviable task of deciding on which of the projects put forward could be allocated the funding."

Some of the successful projects to receive the funding are:

  • Stage Performance in St Albans - awarded £25,000 for a portable stage for public performances
  • SPACE youth and community centres in Welwyn Hatfield - awarded £60,000 to refurbish two vacant shops, one in Hatfield and one in Welwyn Garden city to create youth and community centres.