Question from: County Councillor Liz Rijnenberg Subject: Town Centre Property Investment Fund
The Town Centre Property Investment Fund (TCPIF) is available to bring vacant commercial, residential and retail space back into use within designated target town centres in Powys and Ceredigion.
What communications are in place beyond placing information on the website to ensure that eligible applicants have all the necessary information and support to access the funding?
Are there any learning points identified in relation to the communication and marketing of this project?
Given that there is £200,000 still available, can the closing date of September 14th 2020 be extended? This would recognise the unusual circumstances people have found themselves in over the last 6 months and allow anyone who has missed the launch of the project to apply.
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
The Town Centre Property Investment Fund (TCPIF) is administered by the Council’s Regeneration Team across eligible towns in Powys and Ceredigion. The scheme has been promoted via media releases and direct marketing within the identified towns including leaflet drops and the distribution of information to local stakeholders. Officers who administer the scheme liaise closely with potential applicants to provide advice and support on the development of applications.
Interest in the grant has remained high in Powys whereas demand in Ceredigion has been lower than anticipated. Recent promotion has taken place to help ensure that the remaining regional budget is allocated before the scheme ends on 31st March 2021. The closing date of 14th September 2020 was set to give sufficient time for applications to be processed as works must be undertaken and claimed prior to the end of the financial year. The promotion of the scheme has generated several new inquiries which are currently being discussed and will help develop a pipeline of potential applications.
Due to the demand for the grant and positive benefit it brings to the regeneration of town centres, discussions are currently taking place with Welsh Government regarding proposals for a follow-on grant scheme. The development of the new scheme will provide an opportunity to review lessons learnt from the current programme and to improve the grant process and communications. It is envisaged that details of the new scheme will be available later in the year.
I hope this information is of assistance.