Applications worth £52,000 have been made for the £15,000 won by Crickhowell when it was named the Best High Street in Britain.
Twelve groups or individuals applied for funding for community schemes. The organisers say they hope to be able to reach a decision by the end of this week.
Tim Jones, who ran the High Street Bid and is coordinating the allocation of the funds, said: “We are really thrilled and excited to see so many really high-quality bids. They have come from all sections of society and some from people who have not applied to run a project like this before. We want to fund them all, but we only have a limited pot of money, so inevitably some people are going to be disappointed.”
Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre put in three bids; for a paid ‘Business Link Ambassador’ to promote the town, to create a new town guide and to put a touch screen in the window of the visitor centre so that information can be accessed out of hours. Businesses in Standard Street and The Courtyard applied for funding for a map and signs to attract shoppers off the High Street. The Clarence Hall applied for money towards its ongoing upgrade to its audio-visual facilities. Crickhowell Football and Rugby Clubs want to buy a marquee to be used for events run by them and other community groups. The Civic Society want a community noticeboard, and the Brookfields Volunteers want better signs for the edge of the town. Another applicant has applied to get the fountain at the top of the High Street working again, and St Edmund’s Church has asked for money towards the restoration of an important statue. There is an application for a digital app which would show people where the shops are and allow them to buy online. And another group wants to start a Youth Club to forge links between young people, businesses and the community.
Tim Jones said: “All the applicants had to write up a proposal, gather public support and present a rough costing as well as saying who would take the ideas forward. It has been a tremendous effort, and we don’t want it to go to waste, so we have been seeking out alternative sources of funding for those who don’t get it from the Crickhowell Prize Fund. We are grateful to the Brecon Beacons National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund who have offered support and help with wording applications for theirs and other award schemes.”
“So, if you don’t get funding from Crickhowell’s GBHS Prize Fund, please don’t give up. You have done the hard work, you have found someone to take forward your ideas, done the research, written the proposal and gathered your supporters – this is just the beginning of making a difference to the place where we all live.” Tim said.
Tim and Dean Christy of Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd have set up a representative advisory panel to help them decide who should get the money. They say it is made up “of different groups who work to make the town better, along with people from different sections of our community, including people who were born and bred in the town, young people and disability campaigners. This process has been approved by the Great British High Street organisers.” They say they hope to have a result by February 2nd, after the initial scoring, if not by Thursday, February 7th.