Last year towns across Britain were given the opportunity to apply for the Portas Bid money of £100,000,Dunstable Joint Committee which consists of Members from Central Bedfordshire Council, Dunstable Town Council, local businesses and social groups got together and made a video to go along with the application for a chance of winning the £100,000.
In the begining........
Unfortunately Dunstable wasn’t successful in getting the £100,000 but they got a share as did many other town of £10,000.
From the Dunstable Joint Committee a group was created called ‘Town Team Steering Group’ which was made up of local businesses and social media groups who’s job is to help promote these businesses and new events for The Square. Dunstable Town Council Officers also attend to help in any way they can, for example with technical issues and assist with the budget and holding of the £10,000 until it was spent.
After a group meeting it was decided that £10,000 although a lot of money wouldn’t make a great impact on the whole of Dunstable. So the group decided that it would be good to promote the quiet end of town Ashton Square, where there can already be seen some great improvements. For example some money went to creating new vinyl's to cover old shops once permission was granted from the landlords. Within days of this happening interest has already been shown in one of the shops that has been vacant for years. Pop up Britain is also interested in having one of the CBC shops towards the end of this year. The Cambridge Town Team are looking to come down and meet people from this group to see how we are beginning to make such a difference.
So far the group has discussed and decided to spend some of the money as follows, a few of these suggestions are still being implemented.
- Vinyl's for shop fronts.
- A Shopping Map in the arch alley way from High Street South to Ashton Square
- Car Park Map
- Planning permission for this area as it has many constraints
- An Entertainment Licence ~ Which now allows entertainers to use The Square FREE of charge, helping to raise their profile and encourage people in to Dunstable. This facility is available Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays once Dunstable Town Council has taken the booking and confirmed the appropriate liability insurance is correct.
- PRS licence
- Ashton Square Logo ~ Which can now be seen on the vinyl's ~ Businesses have since approached Dunstable Town Council to ask if they can also use this logo as it is becoming wildly recognised.
- Ashton Square Sign ~ Which after planning permission as buildings in this area have heritage status will be over the Arch seen from High Street South
- Event Activity
- Festoon Lighting
- Hanging Baskets
- Banner on the Clock to advertise the events and market along with Ashton Square
- Bollard Advertising (This hasn’t been decided yet)
- Shutter sign writing to advertise Ashton Square and Market which will be seen from High Street South through the Arch
- Logos for Highway
- Repair festoon
- Event Activity’s on the Square, On the 18th May there will be inflatable jousting and stocks! This is for everyone to enjoy on Medieval Weekend.
- Money for the Cadets helping at events
Get involved, be part of it! Some businesses have been to the meetings but we need more! This Portas money is for your area of Dunstable. Let’s get together and help make Dunstable a better place to live, work and shop!
On the social media side if you would like to be in the Town Team Steering Group Album on About Dunstable Facebook page with a photograph of your business, then please take one and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org Those that attend meetings and get involved will really benefit, this is your chance with the Portas money to help your business. It will cost you nothing other than putting in a little effort, join the group and make your business successful.
Looking forward to meeting you at the next Town Team Steering Group as attendees at the last meeting on the 9th May consisted of Latte Heaven, Jo & Taz from Dunstable Market and myself. Plus DTC Officers chairing the meeting. They have passed the reigns over to us four to get everyone involved so let’s show them we can do it!
I have written this to the best of my knowledge and believe all facts to be correct, should anyone have any concerns about it’s content then please contact Dunstable Town Council for further information ~ Thank you