plan to transform Burnham's former job centre wins backing
to transform Burnham-On-Sea's former job centre into a thriving
hub for small businesses have been given the backing of town councillors
a meeting of the council's Town Improvements Committee on Tuesday
(November 27th), councillors supported plans to convert it into
a new centre for small shops and start-up businesses.
former job centre, which is at the junction of the High Street
and Victoria Street, has been empty since 2008, and residents
are keen to see it put back into community use.
committee voted unanimously to earmark £20,000 of £320,000
of community cash from Tesco towards the scheme to help rejuvenate
the town centre.
comes after Burnham resident Tony Lynham, who sits on the Town
Improvements Committee, held talks with the agents seeking to
sell the building.
said at Tuesday's meeting: "The rent for the building would
be £56,600 a year and the rates are around £11,000.
Since no new tenant for the property has been found, there's a
real opportunity for us to fill this empty building with small
businesses by meeting some of the overall costs."
Turco, representing Burnham Chamber of Trade, said the group is
delighted with the proposals. "The Chamber is very keen to
see this go ahead - it would boost local business and encourage
new enterprise in the town."
idea of space for 'pop up shops' was in Burnham's Mary Portas
bid earlier this year and we stated then that this site would
be ideal. It would not only make use of an empty property, but
it would also increase footfall at that end of the High Street."
Bev Milner Simonds from Burnham's Town Team added: "It's
great that this vacant building could be used for something exciting
- it has a horrible appearance at the moment. The proposal for
a centre like this is already working well in Margate where 'pop-up'
shops are thriving."
Chairman Cllr Michael Clarke gave his backing to the scheme and
the committee voted unanimously to give £20,000 towards
proposals will go forward to the January meeting of the full Town
Council where a decision will be made on whether this scheme -
and others - will benefit from the Tesco community cash, which
has been given to the town centre to offset the impact of its
new extension. The ultimate decision, however, rests with Sedgemoor
District Council, which controls the overall pot of funding.
former Job Centre Plus centre closed
down in March 2008 as part of
a cost-cutting programme by the Department of Work and Pensions
was later speculation that Tesco was interested in opening a food
store there - a claim that
it denied. Two years ago, fast food giant KFC
also denied rumours that it was interested in taking over