£4 million windfall plans for Oswestry unveiled
Oswestry Town Council has revealed how it plans to spend nearly £4 million received from leasing land to supermarket giant Morrisons.
Matched funding for Oswestry’s Heritage Action Zone and giving a fresh new look to the town centre shopping streets are among the projects councillors are looking at funding from the £3.9 million received as part of the revamp of the livestock market.
Improvements to the market hall and Bailey Head, as well as to Cae Glas Park, are also earmarked. And the town is looking to members of the public to put forward their own ideas for projects.
In a report to councillors, town clerk Arren Roberts said that while the money was for capital projects the key priority for using the windfall was to create new revenue streams.
"Further plans will need to be brought forward," he said.
Councillors had already decided that the priorities for using the money must be for projects generating revenue, keeping down council tax and on revitalising the town centre.
The indicative allocation of the funding including £500,000 for the Heritage Action Zone match funding and £600,000 for town centre public realm improvements.
Both, the council hopes, will revitalise the centre and bring more people into the town.
Among projects already led by the town council are £100,000 for improvements to Cae Glas Park, £250,000 for the Powis Hall indoor market and the Bailey Head and £600,000 for the council's own capital programme.
Green projects will also benefit. The council wants to put £250,000 into carbon reduction and environment projects.
In the report to the meeting, councillors also heard that there would be £500,000 put into a match funding reserve so that outside funding could be brought in to further benefit the town and £150,000 into feasibility studies and seed funding.
An innovation fund will have £100,000 and there will also be £400,000 for a land acquisition pot.
Members of the public also have the chance to put forward their ideas of how to use the money, with £250,000 going into another pot for special projects.
Oswestry town council received the £3.9 million five years ago when the deal was struck to lease the land to Morrisons for a retail complex off the Shrewsbury Road.
A large scheme which included a cinema failed to materialise but Morrisons opened its new store late last year and is now applying for the remainder of the site to be a mix of uses including a care home, a possible car showroom, and retail/trade units.