Cheshire East Council and Crewe Town Council have agreed to jointly invest a total of £120,000 to help enhance the visual appeal of Crewe’s shopping areas and fund two new town centre-based roles.
The plans have the support of local councillors from both authorities, as well as Crewe Town Centre Working Group, which the two councils are members of.
The creation of a town centre project officer post will be for an initial two-year period. The officer will lead on the day-to-day coordination of initiatives and activities which enhance the offer of the town centre and will also play a key role in building strong links with businesses already active in the town centre.
In addition, a ‘handyperson’ role will be created within Ansa – one of the council’s arm’s-length companies – and is also for an initial two-year period.
This will ensure that there is a person dedicated to working on Crewe every day, who is responsible for the general cleanliness of the town centre and the up-keep of its green spaces, highway verges and street furniture.
Additionally, around £50,000 is to be invested in replacing damaged seating, planters, bins, cycle stands and cycle repair stands, some of which will be funded through the ‘sustainable travel transition year’ initiative.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I’m very pleased that this joint investment is happening and that we are working together to drive forward improvements to the town centre, which will benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors alike.
“Investment in the town centre needs to be a combination of major redevelopment and smaller initiatives.
“While we continue to work on longer-term plans for the regeneration of the town centre and redevelopment of the Royal Arcade site, this latest expenditure will replace pieces of very tired and outdated street furniture and bring a more modern feel to the town, making it more appealing to visitors.”
Cllr Benn Minshall, deputy leader of Crewe Town Council, said: “It is great news that both councils are putting more structure around the delivery of change in Crewe over the coming years.
“A town centre project officer is essential to coordinate all that is happening in the town centre and they will also test the level of support for the creation of a business improvement district. In addition, they will be expected to promote Crewe itself as a destination for business, retail and leisure visitors.
“I’m particularly pleased with the creation of a handyperson role to deal with maintenance issues in the town centre and its main approaches. This will enhance what is currently being done and enable rapid reaction to issues of cleanliness.”
It is anticipated that both of the new town centre roles will be filled by April.
Over the past few months Crewe Town Centre Working Group has brought a range of stakeholders together to deliver a number of other initiatives, including a ‘deep clean’ of the town centre’s pedestrianised areas and the installation of window vinyls in some of the empty shop units.
Cllr Dorothy Flude, a Labour ward member for Crewe at Cheshire East Council, said: “Local members on both councils have been working hard to get more investment in the town centre. The actions announced today will really help to continue turning Crewe around, to make it much more attractive to shoppers and to support local retailers.
“We also want to encourage more visitors to Crewe to experience its wonderful heritage, such as the Lyceum Theatre and market hall, and we are working to make sure that Crewe’s reputation for heritage is built upon.”
Earlier this month, Cheshire East Council announced that free parking after midday on Saturdays is being offered in Crewe until Easter at all nine of the authority’s town centre car parks.
The working group also includes Ansa, Edward Timpson MP’s office, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Market Shopping Centre, Grand Junction Retail Park, Lyceum Theatre and South Cheshire College.