Over £18,000 added to Rugby council's special fund to boost our town centre

Rugby council has received an £18,643 government grant which will be put towards improving the town centre.

The grant, which is expected to be used to clean up shopping streets, came from a £9.75 million pot that was divided among all front-line councils in the country to help them bring more more footfall to town centres.

Regent Street in the town centre.

Regent Street in the town centre.

A spokesperson for Rugby Borough Council said the grant will be added to Rugby council's Town Centre Improvement Fund, and a precise use for the money will be worked out in the new financial year - which begins in April.

Council leader Michael Stokes said: "I welcome this funding to support town centres, which comes in addition to the free evening and weekend parking, support for the St Andrew’s garden project and other town centre initiatives announced in last month’s council budget.

“The funding will be added to our town centre fund and will contribute towards improvements that will make our town a cleaner and tidier place to visit."

Rugby council gets the money for the fund through various means, including business rates taken from out-of-town retail parks.

While setting-out last October's budget, chancellor Philip Hammond said high streets across the country were under pressure 'as never before' as he set out a £1.5 billion plan to regenerate high streets - which included £900 million in business rates relief for small shops and retailers.

And a spokesperson for Rugby's Joto Hobbies, which closed last year after 37 years in business, previously said a lack of footfall to the town centre and the increase in online shopping was putting increasing pressure on independent retailers.

The £18,643 grant for Rugby comes as a consultation begins on plans to rejuvenate St Andrew's Gardens, which has in recent years fallen victim to littering and anti-social behaviour.

Hundreds of Rugbeians are also set to once again help to improve our town as Rugby Borough Council has joins the Great British Spring Clean for the third consecutive year, supported by Keep Britain Tidy.

Cllr Stokes said: “There are always opportunities for residents to get involved in their own communities, and the Great British Spring Clean is an ideal opportunity to take that first step.”

“In Rugby we are very fortunate to benefit from hundreds of volunteers who contribute thousands of hours of their time each year, from the Cawston Greenway, the Great Central Way and Swift Valley wildlife sites, the many friends groups we have, the new urban meadow sites and in the rural areas as well."

Residents can find out more about how they can get involved in the Great British Spring Clean by contacting Rugby Borough Council’s parks and grounds team on 01788 533706 or by email at talkinthepark@rugby.gov.uk.