The new series of Town Centre Panel sessions meets again this Thursday, 24 September as it moves to a halfway stage with members beginning to work on a number of issues and ambitions that have emerged from earlier sessions.
Amongst the topics, receiving more attention are better street cleaning, more town centre events and markets, signage and street furniture, improving the cattle market car park and the completion of the market place changes with a view to a more pedestrian friendly town. A review of the Town Council’s marketing strategy is also on the agenda.
Town Centre Panel Chair Mel Usher said “The Town Centre is a major part of the social and physical glue that holds the town together. The key is going to lie in helping it to evolve, to cope with new challenges such as internet shopping whilst also making it exciting, interesting and inclusive. We can’t just leave that to market forces alone, the town centre needs managing and nudging along certain routes. We are paying particular attention to practical improvements that can have an immediate impact.
“This is not just about shopping, important though it is, town centres need to be lived in, they need new types of work opportunities, to be places where events can be held and they need to be somewhere everyone can enjoy at night time, as well as in the day. Perhaps we need less red tape and to be nimbler in the way we make decisions and encourage new entrepreneurs. Many of the old certainties are dying out, and maybe we can’t afford to wait years for major decisions to emerge.”
A key discussion point for the panel is that more should be done to encourage people into the town in the evening. The new Cordero Lounge has had a positive impact on the Westway and suggests, along with the success of other restaurants, that encouraging investment in new restaurants may be a way forward. The idea of a twilight market and other evening events encouraging greater evening footfall is also on the agenda. Enabling events to happen in all weathers is another subject on the panel’s radar, with ideas including the introduction of canopies in areas such as the Market Yard being discussed.
The next Town Centre Panel meeting takes place on Thursday 24 September at 7pm in the Elliot building to the rear of the new Frome Town Hall which can be accessed from the car park in Park Road. All members of the public are welcome to attend to listen to the Panel and make their views known at the end of the session.
For more information contact Peter Wheelhouse at Frome Town Council on 01373 465757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01373 465757