Delight at £80K fund to boost our district as Covid restrictions lift

Saffron Walden Mayor Heather Asker (pictured second left) and Shara Vickers the Saffron Walden BID b

BID and volunteers including mayor Heather Asker in last year's big clean up ahead of shops reopening after lockdown - Credit: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Saffron Walden's business group has welcomed the news that £80,809 is being given to support the reopening of the high streets, as they prepare for a Big Clean Up Day - and ask everyone to lend a hand.

Uttlesford District Council will receive the funds from the Government's £56m Welcome Back Fund.

It is designed to boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups.

Councils can use the funding to hold street markets and festivals, boost the look and feel of their high streets, add more seating areas and street planting, and install new signage to help keep people safe as restrictions are lifted.

An Uttlesford District Council spokesperson said: “This funding is to support a safe and successful reopening of our high streets as restrictions start to ease.

"We look forward to receiving the full guidance from the Government as soon as possible.

"Once we know more we will be talking to local businesses and councils to get ideas on how the money might be best used for the benefit of our high streets.”

Julie Redfern of Great Chesterford. Picture: Celia Bartlett Photography

Julie Redfern - Credit: Celia Bartlett

Most Read

Julie Redfern, Saffron Walden BID vice chair said: "The SWBID welcomes all the help given to relaunch our town centres.  

"We are delighted to hear that Government is putting more into it and we appreciate the support from the Government and local councils to do this."

Kemi Badenoch MP

Kemi Badenoch MP - Credit: Kemi Badenoch

Saffron Walden constituency MP Kemi Badenoch said: “I know how difficult it has been for businesses on our high streets over the last year, and I have and remain determined to secure them all the help they need to recover.

"This funding builds on over £80,000 the council received last June and the work the Saffron Walden BID team have done.

“It will ensure that high streets in Saffron Walden and Dunmow have the support they need as we move into recovery, and build back better from the pandemic and I look forward to returning to our local shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.”

Saffron Walden BID's Big Clean Up Day is on Thursday, April 8 at 10am onwards to get the town ready for shops and businesses reopening.

BID wants everyone to lend a hand, even half an hour to pick litter, clean windows and doorways, and sweep shop entrances.  

Participants should bring their own cleaning equipment. Covid secure measures will be in place and social distancing will be observed.  

Jonathan Waters, BID Director, said: ‘We are really excited about the town reopening and welcoming everyone back.

"Last June, we did this post first lockdown, there was a fabulous community atmosphere and camaraderie as we all worked together to get the town back spick and span.

"We’d love to see as many people who live nearby take part as well and support our town. The more the merrier and the faster the job will be done!"

For more information, please contact the SWBID manager Louise Scutt-Richter by email or via the handle @supportsaffrowalden on Facebook or Instagram.