Welcome Back Fund and Reopening High Street Safely Fund

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Welcome back fund

The Welcome Back Fund builds on the earlier Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to support the safe reopening of high streets and town centres to help build back better from the Covid 19 pandemic. This fund is enabling Cheshire East Council to put in place measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism. In total, Cheshire East Council has been allocated up to £679,067.

What has been done or planned

We have worked with town councils across the borough and business groups to implement a range of activities from June 2020 to encourage the public to visit their local town centres safely.

The work has included:

  • obtaining data to identify changes in visitor/consumer behaviour (including footfall) in each of our town centres, and using this to inform recovery plans
  • three place based marketing campaigns (Christmas 2020, ‘Say Hi to the High Street Christmas 2021’ and ‘Say Hi to the High Street Spring 2022’) to promote safe ‘reopening’ of town centres to residents/visitors and instil a positive ‘open for business’ impression to residents/visitors, alongside safety and social distancing messages
  • installation of temporary traffic management measures  and awareness raising signs and pavement markings to enable social-distancing in 17 High Streets across Cheshire East
  • erection of temporary barriers to widen footways, in locations of high footfall where social-distancing was challenging
  • providing deckchairs, for town councils to make available for outdoor town centre community events and use
  • providing town councils with gazebos to make available for outdoor town centre community events and use
  • providing temporary additional planters and planting to improve the attractiveness of town centres to visitors
  • Providing bunting to help to beautify towns and to help to attract footfall
  • provision of folding chairs and tables to town councils to be made available for outdoor town centre community events and use  in some areas to create a welcoming feel for visitors
  • purchasing of equipment to enable town centre cleaning by volunteers
  • Providing outdoor lightbox exhibition infrastructure to raise people’s awareness and enjoyment of their environment using art.
  • The siting of pianos that can be played by anyone helping to revitalise vibrant town centres

About this project

The project is receiving up to £679,067 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

Page last reviewed: 10 March 2022