OPINION: £1m boost to help transform Millom

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Plans: Mike Starkie, elected mayor of CopelandPhoto: Copeland Borough Council
Plans: Mike Starkie, elected mayor of CopelandPhoto: Copeland Borough Council
7 July 2017 12:26PM

IT’S my pleasure this week to announce a major project that I believe will be transformational for the town of Millom.

Our Copeland Pride of Place Town Centre Regeneration Scheme will see £1m ploughed into Copeland’s towns and villages.

A grants scheme to help businesses improve their appearances, half the money is coming from ourselves, and the rest will be match-funded by the firms themselves.

The scheme focuses on Millom – and our other towns of Whitehaven, Egremont and Cleator Moor – and will have a profound impact on the business community and the appearance of our high streets.

There’s also a pot of cash for villages across Copeland, and some streetscape improvements too.

And most pleasing about this scheme is that it isn’t a pie-in-the-sky project that will take years to come to fruition.

It’s a real grassroots project that will have instant positive results and a direct impact on our residents, visitors and business community.

We’ve already had some early expressions of interest from the Millom business community, and as long as applicants meet the criteria and are prepared to match-fund our grant, they’ll be awarded up to £5,000 for new windows, doors or frames, decoration or signage.

We all have enormous pride in this borough, and this funding will help us and the community continue to create a place where people feel proud to work, live and visit.

Applications are open on Monday July 24 and I can’t wait to get started.

On the subject of having pride in Millom, we’ve produced a draft Conservation Area Design Guide that focuses on all our towns.

The guide offers advice on how the architectural heritage of an area can be maintained, and once it’s adopted, it will help us when we’re considering planning applications. Additionally, it will help developers and property owners to consider the possible impact of their proposals on a conservation area’s character.

The document is only in draft form however, and the public has a chance to comment on it from Monday until the consultation closes on Friday, August 18.

A hard copy of the draft document will be found in our Millom office and Millom Library, and there’s a drop-in session with our Townscape Heritage Initiative Officer at the Pensioners Hall on Mainsgate Road on July 26 (6pm-7pm) – and we want to hear your views.

Our towns are steeped in rich architectural heritage and we must ensure that we’re doing all we can to enhance the unique character of our borough.

Mike Starkie

Elected mayor of Copeland

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