Home-made on the High Street
An innovative scheme aimed at boosting and diversifying Padiham town centre is set to be put under the national spotlight.
The project – named Home-made on the High Street – includes a series of measures to strengthen and promote shopping in Padiham while, at the same time, developing the town as a creative hub by encouraging new artistic, creative and educational businesses to locate there.
It has been put forward for an award from the Association of Town and City Management.
The Town Team, local business people supported by Burnley borough and Padiham town councils, has taken the lead in driving forward the project, with the help of town centre manager Tony Fitzgerald.
The initiative hasn’t just been about featuring new businesses but also about creating a collective brand identity for the whole town centre.
As a result of the success of Home Grown on the High Street Burnley Council has agreed to fund the scheme for a further 12 months and make the town centre manager’s role full-time.
The team has been able to tap into a number of national funding programmes.
A small grants programme, utilising £10,000 of Portas Partner funding, is being used to provide financial and mentoring support to new businesses.
The team has also developed an innovative project which is successfully challenging the downward trends experienced by most town centres by “growing”’ its own retailers.
High Street Innovation funding (£10,000) was used to fit out a row of three empty units in the town centre which had been empty for more than five years. A further £10,000 from other Portas funding was split into five grants of £2,000 to provide a financial and business mentoring support programme targeted at attracting artistic, creative and educational businesses.
One of the initial grant recipients was Picture House gallery which occupied two of the newly fitted out units. The third unit has been retained by Burnley Council as a base for the town centre manager but it is also available as a pop-up shop or as a venue for community, educational, mentoring etc. activities.
The Town Team is keen to promote Padiham as a place where there is little red tape to stand in the way of new creative businesses which want to try their hand at high street retailing.