A Burnham and Highbridge town councillor has this week said it is “disappointing” that MP James Heappey has announced he’s not supporting a multi-million bid to regenerate Highbridge.
As reported here, the MP believes the plans are “cosmetic” and would not generic enough economic benefit to Highbridge.
However, the bid has been submitted for ‘Levelling Up’ funding by Sedgemoor District Council this week.
Local Lib Dem town councillor Cllr. Ganesh Gudka, pictured, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It is disappointing that our MP has said he has issues with the Levelling Up bid for Highbridge.”
“It was put together by experienced officers and consultants with a track record of successful bids to this fund, and with support from local representatives.”
“I feel that by categorising the plans for Highbridge as ‘cosmetic’ he has missed the importance of building on the tremendous work already done by new businesses to make the town centre more attractive and inviting.”
“The proposals are intended to encourage local people and visitors to reach the town centre through active transport, spend more time there, experience an improved shopping experience, use local community and sports facilities, and improve the railway station and its access.”
“I remain convinced – and I think this is a view that will be widely shared by other Town Councillors – that this is the most sustainable way to support local businesses and employment and revitalise the area.”
“I remain hopeful that the bid will be reviewed in that light and will be successful.”
“It is important to remember that the Levelling Up bid, worth around £8m to Highbridge, is only part of a wider Highbridge regeneration strategy which is being drawn up.”
“The contents of the bid are largely determined by the Fund criteria and the stipulation that any projects in it must be capable of starting in the near future.”