Bidding for High Street facelift

Wombwell shop keepers are working together to re-generate the High Street, and hopefully gain �100,000 from Mary Portas' new funding scheme. Pictured l-r are Andy Cole, of Cole Bros Cafe, Anita Riddiough, Sandra Winsett, Ryan Fielding, Dawn Goddard, all of Wilkinson's, and Dave Cole, of Cole Bros Cafe.  Picture: Liz Mockler S1035LM

Wombwell shop keepers are working together to re-generate the High Street, and hopefully gain �100,000 from Mary Portas' new funding scheme. Pictured l-r are Andy Cole, of Cole Bros Cafe, Anita Riddiough, Sandra Winsett, Ryan Fielding, Dawn Goddard, all of Wilkinson's, and Dave Cole, of Cole Bros Cafe. Picture: Liz Mockler S1035LM

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A BID to improve Wombwell High Street with new Government funding has been made by a community group.

The Wombwell Community Board members hope to be in the running with their scheme to rejuvenate the town centre, in line with recommendations set out by shopping guru Mary Portas.

The mix of traders and volunteers with representatives from the private sector, elected council members, council amenities section, police and senior citizens, hope for £100,000 to provide permanent canopies on the High Street.

The massive, fixed umbrella-like structures would cover market stalls for three days, then provide shelter for the display of crafts and artwork by local groups on remaining weekdays.

The bid follows the government’s acceptance of a list of recommendations by Portas to rejuvenate high streets, with funding to be made available..

Two schemes, an innovation fund to bring empty shops back to life with £10 million of taxpayers’ money, along with a £1 million Future High Street fund for towns that come up with the best schemes within a year, have attracted scores of proposals. A further £500,000 fund is for towns to access loans.

Wombwell followed Local Government and Communities Minister Grant Shapps’ request for town teams to be formed with a mix of members.

Treasurer of the Wombwell Community Board, Dave Cole of Cole Brothers’ Cafe, said: “We believe our proposal is a good one but only 12 projects nationally will get the kind of funding we are after, so we can only hope.

“Everyone in Wombwell is behind us in this. The application was very detailed and pages long, but we got it in in time. All we can do now is wait.”

Barnsley town centre has its own bid in for a chunk of the cash grants.