Huhne backs Hedge End’s innovation

Eastleigh’s MP Chris Huhne, and Hedge End Town Council, have formally announced on their websites today, the news that Hedge End has been awarded “a £10,000 Government boost to help local traders in the Town” 

As previously reported by Eastleigh News, in Hedge End also a Town Team Partner, the money has been awarded as part of the Dept for Communities & Local Government’s “Town Team Partners” scheme, a second phase of the Portas Pilot competition that was run earlier this year.

As the official announcement explains;

After an unsuccessful bid to become a ‘Portas pilot’ Town earlier this year, Hedge Ends ‘Town Team’ was asked to suggest ways £10,000 could be spent on the Town Centre.

The bid is aimed at boosting the local economy, helping independent local traders and local shoppers in tough economic times, and reducing traffic and pollution by promoting local ‘corner shop’ shopping.

The Hedge End team’s vision for improving the centre clearly impressed the Government enough for it to award the town a share of £1m handed out nationwide.

 The Leader of Hedge End Town Council, Cllr Louise Bloom added;

“This grant is a real vote of confidence for Hedge End and will help us further improve our local shopping centre and support local businesses.”

The Towns bid for this grant was a complicated process which required the support of Eastleigh Borough Council and the local MP, Chris Huhne, who says;

“In tough times, this news will be a boost to both local businesses and residents here. Hedge End Town Council’s innovative ideas will help local traders get ahead of the competition online and in other nearby shopping centres like Southampton. It will really help maintain the vibrancy of the town centre”.

At this evenings Full Council meeting in Hedge End, Eastleigh News enquired how the money would be spent.

The Town-Clerk mentioned a minibus service, though scaled back compared to the original Portas bid, and also referred to the bar-coded loyalty card scheme.

Both of those ideas were central to Hedge End’s original Portas bid, but it is not yet clear how exactly that will be refined to suit this much smaller grant. 

Work on the fine details is still in progress at the Town Council…

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site. 

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  2 comments for “Huhne backs Hedge End’s innovation

  1. Stephen Slominski
    November 22, 2012 at 12:33 am

    As you said previously Ray, £10k isn’t going to go far. That’s about 20 picnic tables isn’t it?

    • November 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Yes, it is. See 20 Picnic tables

      My view is that the Town Council would be better-off dropping the minibus idea, and concentrating on getting the loyalty card scheme up & running and publicised.

      They can only do so much with that limited grant of £10K.

      Trying to keep all of the elements of the Portas bid will require additional investment, either from the Town Council or from the local businesses themselves…

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