North Bristol high streets need help too!
The Love our High Street pilot project will see the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) invest £10 million into transforming three high streets across Bristol and the West, starting with the East Street area of Bedminster.
Local councillors Geoff Gollop and Mark Weston are keen that declining high streets in North Bristol are considered for future funding and took the Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, to see Westbury village in December, to highlight the crisis affecting our area by changing shopping habits, high rents and rates.
A project set up this autumn to regenerate Westbury-on-Trym village centre is making progress but there’s still a long way to go.
As previously reported in Henleaze & Westbury Voice, a meeting was held at the Portland Lounge in September. In front of a packed crowd of local business people, residents and councillors, Chair of the Westbury-on-Trym Business Association (WOTBA), Amanda George, explained that she wanted to tackle the problem of empty shop units, parking and increased crime in the area.
Since then, the group have explored funding options, and an application has been made for a £250 grant from the Co-Op. Plans for better signage and CCTV in the village are also being looked at in order to improve security, and a representative from the group met with new local PCSO, Robert Cole, who informed them that PCSO's are driving round the village in 'marked/unmarked cars' during the evenings to monitor the situation.
In addition, investigations have taken place in regards to what is happening with the empty shops in the village. Darren Jones MP has explored the situation with the empty Lloyds bank premises in particular. Henleaze & Westbury Voice understands that part of the problem is that the agent is offering a very short lease on the property, which is making it too much of a risk for another business to take on.
To find out more about WOTBA and to get involved with the regeneration project, email: email@example.com or visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/WestburyOnTrymBusinessAssociation