Hopes of new life for high street after £10,000 windfall
WINCANTON is to receive a £10,000 windfall in a bold bid to liven up the high street.
South Somerset District Council's area east committee supported proposals to allocate cash towards the improved marketing of the town.
More than half a dozen business premises in Wincanton sit vacant.
Colin Winder, mayor of Wincanton, said: "We need money to advertise this town as a place where people can bring their businesses.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"We did a lot of research for the Wincanton People's Plan and tried very hard to attract businesses, but right now they are leaving at an alarming rate. Wincanton is right off the A303 and has every facility that you would want.
"We have to spend some money to get employers into the area because people can't be driving 20 or 30 miles to work in Yeovil every day.
"Not everybody is a brain surgeon. We need jobs and manual work available here."
The initiative will run for three years and is likely to require the help of a specialist marketing organisation.
District and town councillor David Norris, part of the Wincanton town team, said the funding was "crucial" to the town's rejuvenation.
He said: "We have a large number of people coming into the town with the new housing developments, but they need local employers.
"Wincanton has so much to offer and it's so nearly there. We have an amazing array of businesses and unique shops, we just need to let people know what this place has to offer."
While Wincanton is suffering from a number of vacancies, retail premises in Castle Cary and Bruton are almost full to capacity.
Castle Cary faces a dearth of office premises in the town after some were converted for residential use and it only has isolated options for redevelopment on Brownfield sites.
A council report said demand remains high for retail premises in Bruton, but the town now only has one vacant property – at the former site of The Meadow School.
Mike Allen, regeneration officer for the area east committee, said: "When you look at towns other than Wincanton, you find nothing is available. All the retail premises seem to be taken up. If Wincanton is not well promoted, it will continue to have available space and its town centre will not develop.
"We need to get this place on the map."
District councillor Nick Colbert warned: "We need more industrial land to accommodate new businesses.
"By not having any available, we are simply handing business away to Wiltshire and Dorset."