of Tesco cash earmarked for shops improvement in Burnham
£25,000 scheme to improve the appearance of shops along
Burnham-On-Sea's High Street has been unveiled this week using
funding from supermarket giant Tesco.
councillors have backed the scheme, which was put forward by the
Chamber of Trade, to improve the appearance of stonework, signs
and paintwork, using funding to be matched by traders.
has given £322,000 to offset the financial impact of its
store extension on the town centre and this week's meeting was
held to discuss several proposals for how to spend the funding.
Alex Turco, representing Burnham Chamber of Trade, said: "A
shopfront improvement scheme would be very positive for Burnham.
It has previously worked well in improving the appearance of the
High Street and would give the town centre a lift, making it more
attractive for shoppers. The Chamber strongly supports this initiative."
the meeting, proposals for a shopfront art scheme were also discussed
in which a commercial artist would paint colourful scenes on metal
shutters along the High Street, but the scheme got a cool reception.
businessman Mike Murphy, who sits on the council's Town Improvements
Committee, siad few traders want shutters painted and he said:
"I am deeply concerned by the scheme - the shutters are mostly
made of steel and if paint is added in a seaside environment,
we'll quickly see degradation, rust and paint peeling. I feel
this scheme is setting up the High Street to look shabbier over
Burnham Town Team's Bev Milner Simonds said she had visited several
traders who are interested. "Many residents don't like the
appearance of the shutters when they come down as shops close
at 5.30pm. Burnham is missing out on a night time economy - and
this scheme would make a small difference by helping the town
centre look more welcoming in the evenings."
Neville Jones proposed an alternative scheme where "some
straightforward painting be undertaken at the discretion of business
agreed and also voted unanimously to earmarking £25,000
towards the shopfront improvements scheme.
proposals will now go forward to the January meeting of the full
Town Council where a decision will be made on whether this scheme
- and others including appointing a new Town Centre Manager and
converting the former job centre into a business hub - will benefit
from the Tesco community cash.
ultimate decision rests with Sedgemoor District Council, which
controls the overall pot of funding.
Top, Burnham High street; Centre - some of the shuttered shopfronts
that may have been painted; above - Burnham's Tesco store