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Hereford's High Town set for £2.5m investment


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Hereford's High Town set for £2.5m investment

 

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More than £2.5m is to be invested in Hereford in a bid to boost the local economy.

 

The funding, from Herefordshire Council, will be used to redevelop streets and pedestrian areas in High Town.

Statues and the Old House museum will also see work over the summer.

 

Caroline Preedy, who runs a gift shop in High Town, said the area urgently needed a "facelift" and bringing into the "21st Century".

 

Councillor Paul Rone, in charge of roads and transport, said: "We need to do this, we need to have a vibrant city centre and a smart welcome in the city centre

 

"Empty shops, empty pubs, empty buildings are not good for the town and by investing this money, and making it a lot more welcoming, hopefully people who are looking to invest or open a shop will think it's worth the risk."

 

Herefordshire Council said it was also working with private landlords to improve the appearance of other buildings in the area.

 

BBC

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This is great news for High Town. It's well overdue and very welcoming to all who've remained loyal to the place. I actually feel the need to moan about this and complain that this step has only been taken because the General Election is rapidly approaching and it's become politically expedient for the Tories to win favour. Course, moaning would be unreasonable and so i'll stop short of ranting about it and simply say 'thank you' for making this decision.

High Town needs this and I sincerely hope this pledge can be delivered quickly before to much more damage is inflicted upon this wonderful place.

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£2.5m is peanuts in the construction world - they've spent more than that on carpets and dishwashers for the Shire Hall and much more than that at Plough Lane on goodness knows what. The approach to High Town from Offa Street up to the Old House is a disgraceful entrance to High Town - that was not done when High Town was done, nor was Commercial Road - they both still suffer from the previous poor refurbishment. 'working with private landlords ' - that'll be the burnt out shell they've done nothing about for several years then.

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This is brilliant news for High Town, although the cynic in me, as alluded to by others, thinks the timing of this announcement is more to do with political point scoring in the run up to elections!

 

Whatever the  case, I welcome it. I wonder where they will prioritise??

 

Certainly agree that landlords need to be tackled....along with the River Island building, many, many others are looking extremely shabby. The Chadds buildings, for example, has needed a darn good clean up for quite some time. A lick of paint, and a little pride in the appearance of shop fronts would not cost a lot, but would have a very positive impact!

 

One relatively small change, would be to improve the seating areas in both High Town and Eign Gate. Although they are fairly recent additions, the metal benches are horrendous. No back support for the elderly, freezing cold to sit on, and generally very uncomfortable to perch upon.

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Like you regular posters I thought this was good news and very welcome to improving the appearance of the City Centre. However, I do hope the work will be completed before the 300th Anniversary of the 3 Choirs Festival which takes place in Hereford this summer. Also this is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, which I think Hereford owns a copy. Digging up and road works all over Hereford City Centre at such an important time for visitors would really show that no one in Herefordshire Council has any awareness of these important tourist attractions for our historic City and local businesses. 

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Whatever the  case, I welcome it. I wonder where they will prioritise??

 

One relatively small change, would be to improve the seating areas in both High Town and Eign Gate. Although they are fairly recent additions, the metal benches are horrendous. No back support for the elderly, freezing cold to sit on, and generally very uncomfortable to perch upon.

 

All the paving is newish and the town centre is like a jumble sale with all the pop up tents ... Plus that irritating squeaky kids' ride ... What needs £2.5M thrown at it? That the Council Own? Other than the Buttermarket ... 

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Hi Maggie May, welcome to Hereford Voice!

 

I agree, events such as The Three Choirs Festival, are a real showcase for Herefordshire, and due care when planning things such as roadworks, needs to be taken.

 

Let's hope that come May, we have folks voted in who see the importance of forward thinking!

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Hereford Civic Society event:
 
Business Improvement District (BID)
 
John Jones, MD of Philip Morris, will give an update on development of the Hereford City Centre Business Improvement District (BID initiative for Hereford civic society.
 
Thursday 15th January 7pm for 7.30pm, upstairs at Kindle Centre, behind Asda. 
 
HCS Members free admission. Visitors £3 each, refunded if you join HCS on the night.

 

I trust this group are involved with the High Town investment.

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Very impressive manifesto. Seems to me that they will be doing much of what ESG in its many and expensive permutations promised and failed to deliver. Likewise, it begs the question - just what are we paying the Council for? As they shed more and more of their responsibilities (including High Town), why and how can they justify increasing the Council Tax year on year? 

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I read that Hereford Bid briefly and it would appear they've got £207,000 to spend and want people to vote for their choices of where the cash should go. This seems separate to the Council £2.5M. One they suggest is making the Church Street/East Street junction more friendly to pedestrians. In theory it shouldn't really be an issue as it's 'access only' down East Street from Broad Street for motor vehicles. But as we all know no one pays any attention to that sign. Hence the pedestrian issues.

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No,  it’s a lot more than £207k -  it’s a 1.2% levy on businesses which will raise £280k year 1, and so on for 5 years, total £1.4m. Its in the manifest pdf to download. Only businesses will be able to vote. The Church Street/East Street junction has been a long standing safety issue - as I said, the council should have done this - if this and other projects are done by private funding (which I have no objection to at all and at least it will be done) will this be reflected in our council tax going down?

 

I don't think the Council's £2.5m is anything to do with it -  it’s a good example of not very joined up thinking ...

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I asked the cabinet member for highways what work was being done to High Town, where did the money come from to do the work and if they would be working with the people for the BID, this was his answer.

 

QUOTE.

 

The council intends to carry out maintenance work on the damaged areas that were laid 5/6 years ago the slate with inlaid lettering.

then the following areas.

 

a. The Old House to St Peters Square.

b.  All saints church to East street/ West street junction.

c.  Commercial street.

 

We will work with anyone to enhance, improve and promote our city centre. He did not tell me where the £2.5m for the work came from.

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I asked the cabinet member for highways what work was being done to High Town, where did the money come from to do the work and if they would be working with the people for the BID, this was his answer.

 

QUOTE.

 

The council intends to carry out maintenance work on the damaged areas that were laid 5/6 years ago the slate with inlaid lettering.

then the following areas.

 

a. The Old House to St Peters Square.

b.  All saints church to East street/ West street junction.

c.  Commercial street.

 

We will work with anyone to enhance, improve and promote our city centre. He did not tell me where the £2.5m for the work came from.

 

So new paving in the areas you have outlined? Those letters in the slate will always be high maintenance! Just basically this just sounds like expensive road surfacing work .... Adding on bits at the edges .... 

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HEREFORDSHIRE CC NEWS

 

High Town refurbishment plans

16-01-2015 03:55 AM GMT

 

Shoppers, visitors and commuters to Hereford City will see an improvement to the city centre environment over the coming years, as a result of plans to give the area a new look. Balfour Beatty Living Places is currently developing a programme of works for High Town which will be phased over the next few years and is likely to see an investment in excess of £2.5m, with phase one likely to start later this year following consultation with stakeholders.

 

*****Note that it's taking place over the next few years - good that something is happening but do they have a real plan yet ?

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Evening Glenda!

 

Thanks for clearing that up for me! Much appreciated.

 

The Council aspirational programme is £2.5M with money dreamed up out of a hat. The 'Bid' money is £205k ... I'm not sure fancy paving is required outside Greggs/Barclays Bank in Broad Street when other areas would benefit more ... I don't think there's a single pothole in the area due for a revamp outside Greggs. 

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I recall hearing from a shop keeper in East Street a few years ago, that the whole of East Street had been earmarked for a revamp, to tie it in a bit more with Church Street.

 

We had quite a discussion about it over on HT, not least because a poster - I think it was Two Wheels - stated that the road should only really be used by emergency vehicles and for access. (Apologies if I have remembered this incorrectly!)

 

Has anybody else heard anything about this....plans seem to have been shelved, and there is no mention of it in this new scheme.

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dippy - your memory is sharp as a pin - it was indeed me that said East St is 'access only' - the sign is at the entrance off Broad Street. Occasionally the Police have a bit of blitz but in reality it is used as a west-east relief road, except for when the M & S artic can't get out the other end because some numpty has parked opposite on the yellow lines.

 

Many, many years ago, the previous Hereford City Council paid Arup's a small fortune for a report on what to do with East St - obviously the report was put on a shelf with all of the others and nothing done.

 

With the BID and the Independent Quarter traders working together I believe there is at last hope that this area can be further improved. As long as the Council don't get involved ...

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Blimey! I must be having a good day!

 

I have correctly remembered information about both this, and the Freedom Church! Not often that happens.

 

I am with you all the way, Two Wheels. East Street could be so much more than it currently is, and a huge part of the problem is the constant through traffic.

 

Church Street is just fabulous, it would be great to extend the "feel" of this street out a little further.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
The Independent today:

UK high streets running out of time as more shops close than new ones open
 
Survey shows that net closures almost trebled last year to 987 despite economic recovery, with phone retailers biggest casualty after new loss of 419 stores in 2014
 
Britain’s high streets are fading away because new shops are not opening fast enough to replace those that close, despite the economic recovery.
 
The number of retail premises left empty last year almost tripled, as 5,839 shops were shuttered and 4,852 were opened, according to a survey by the accountancy firm PwC, which warned that the high street was “running out of timeâ€.
 
While the rate of closures was similar to the previous year, 16 shops a day, the study of 500 UK town centres showed that net closures soared to 987, up from 371 in 2013.
 
The biggest casualties were mobile phone retailers, which lost a net 419 stores, or 18% of their total number of shops. Most of those losses were caused by the bankruptcy of Phones 4U in September.
 
Tougher rules for short-term lenders and the collapse in the gold price forced the closure of 233 cheque cashing and pawnbroking shops.
 
Customers shopping online or out of town helped cause the closure of a net 237 fashion and clothing shops and 53 travel agents. The closure of 69 video rental shops wiped out the stores on the high streets covered by the survey
 
PwC and Local Data Company, which carried out the survey, said the increase in net closures reflected long-term trends that the buoyant economy and returning consumer confidence could not make up for.
 
Shoppers are buying more goods over the internet or at shopping centres and mid-market retailers such as the lingerie chain La Senza, which collapsed in July, are increasingly losing out to upmarket brands and low-cost operators such as Primark.
 
Mike Jervis, a partner at PwC, said: “You would expect there to be at least as many shops opening as closing at this point in the economic cycle. 2014 was supposed to be the year when we saw the comeback of consumer confidence and spending and that is not reflected here.
 
“The high street does seem to be running out of time. Certain types of retailers have lost confidence in the high street because people are going to out of town areas for reasons of parking or safety. If you’re booking a holiday or selling a house you can do that online and the internet continues to dent the clothing sector.â€
 
Charity shops opened the most new stores last year – a net of 64. Other retailers increasing their high street presence included coffee shops, tobacconists and e-cigarette sellers, discount stores and bookmakers. But betting is also moving online and the government has clamped down on fixed-odds betting, the main money spinner in bookies’ stores.
 
Supermarkets are also no longer snapping up premises to open convenience stores as they did a year ago, Jervis said. Morrisons announced on Thursday that it would shut 23 of its M convenience stores and halt new openings.
 
Jervis said: “The high street has got to make itself relevant. That may mean converting a lot more shops to fast food outlets or restaurants or for residential use to solve some of the housing issues. It has to be more than charity shops and betting shops.â€

 

 
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