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Dovercourt town centre gets cash boost in national pilot scheme

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Dovercourt has been selected as of one of ten areas to take part in a new national pilot scheme.

The town’s High Street was chosen by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to be part of the new High Street Accelerator Pilot Programme – giving powers to those who live and work in town centres to bring about improvements.

A new forum will be set up led by local businesses and charities, with Tendring District Council (TDC) – which put forward Dovercourt for the programme – also represented. It will receive £237,000 to spend by March 2025; this will enable the forum to get established, set a vision and deliver projects agreed by it.

The partnership will also be able to apply for specific government funding for some schemes.

Ivan Henderson, TDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, said he welcomed the funding and intervention.

“Dovercourt has been chosen in recognition of what fantastic potential it has, and that with a little bit of help it can be even better than it already is,” Councillor Henderson said.

“This funding is specifically for the High Street, but we hope that will complement our existing work being carried out through the £9million Dovercourt Capital Regeneration Project around Kingsway, Milton Road and more widely in the town.

“We look forward to working with local businesses and charity groups to deliver some really focused interventions to improve the Dovercourt High Street.”

Paul Milsom, Chairman of the Harwich and Dovercourt Tourism Group, added: “This is great news for the town, especially as the funds can be deployed without delay.

“Putting power in the hands of those who know the area best and supporting it with funding will mean we can develop some exciting projects over the next couple of years.  Our group can’t wait to get started.”

The new forum will set the vision and projects to be delivered; suggestions from the Accelerator Programme include those which will increase footfall, make an area feel safer, re-purpose spaces or improve energy efficiency.

Running at pace, the pilot is due to end in March 2025 – though with the hope the Accelerator partnership will continue beyond that and evolve into a long-term sustainable team. As a pilot, the forum will be encouraged and empowered to try new and exciting things.

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