Council provides extra £100k to boost Fareham

Ian Luckett with Steven Small

Winning driver cannot believe his Lucketts

Have your say

FAREHAM town centre will get a big boost after the borough council announced plans to spend a further £100,000 in a bid to keep the town centre vibrant and attractive to shoppers.

It comes as the council was recently given £100,000 by the government from its High Street Innovation Fund.

A total of £200,000 will now be spent to entice more shoppers into the town.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council, said making improvements to the town centre is needed as the town battles with competition from the new £64m shopping centre in Whiteley which is set to open next year.

‘We are mindful that Whiteley will be opening next summer,’ he said.

‘That’s a real concern. It’s only shops so there aren’t going to be the variety of restaurants and cinemas but we need to keep what we have got.

‘We need to make sure that the town centre will be as attractive as possible.

‘It’s not an enormous amount of money but it’s enough to make a difference.’

Last month the council announced as part of the action plan, that parking options in the town will be reviewed which could include scrapping parking penalties.

They are also planning to build a new dedicated town centre website with information about what Fareham has to offer.

Cllr Woodward also stressed that work will be carried out to improve the appearance of empty shops along the western end of West Street and to try and draw more people down that end of the town centre.

Cllr Woodward added: ‘I just feel that it’s the right thing to do.

‘It shows to our traders and businesses in the town centre that we really mean business.’

Julia Howard, owner of Beauty Solutions in West Street, said: ‘More money is better than less but it depends on how they spend it.

‘For our end of town they need to tell people where the car parks are.

‘It needs to be thought out so that it’s fair for all businesses.

‘There are so many shops down our end that are empty. There needs to be some sort of incentive.’

The council will discuss the action plan at a meeting on Monday, September 3.