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Keith could tap into £2M towns fund

By Chris Saunderson

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KEITH and other towns in Moray could bid for support for its town centre from a £2 million fund.

The Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund is open to local authorities as well as community and development trusts, chambers of commerce and town centre partnerships to address immediate concerns related to Coronavirus.

Mid Street in Keith during the Coronavirus pandemic. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Mid Street in Keith during the Coronavirus pandemic. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

It will help finance emergency recovery projects such as:

  • Digital markets and virtual high streets.
  • Online local jobs and volunteering platforms.
  • Open for business guides and maps.
  • Physical distancing street markers and one way systems.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The coronavirus crisis is having an unprecedented impact on every high street and town centre as we take measures to supress and control the spread of the virus.

“As we carefully ease out of lockdown it is vital that we support our local communities to safely reopen our high streets and recover from the social and economic impacts of the pandemic. The steps we take to rebuild our economy and restore our town centres must be flexible and adaptable to allow them to respond quickly to any future changes.

“This funding will support the implementation of new measures for town centres, addressing immediate concerns and assisting in the recovery and renewal of local communities. This is also an opportunity to consider the future of our towns.

"We want to support them to be greener, healthier places where business and social activity thrive and their recovery is an important part of our ambitions on social renewal, as we work towards reducing poverty and disadvantage.”

The fund opens for applications from towns organisations on Monday, June 15. Information on how to apply will be available on the Scotland’s Towns Partnership website.

The £2 million Towns and BIDs Resilience and Recovery Fund is in addition to the £1 million BIDs Resilience Fund announced in March.

To date, 37 operational BIDs have now successfully applied for Covid-19 BIDs Resilience and £995,000 has been awarded. BIDs will be able to access the new funding from September when the £1 million BID Resilience Fund expires.

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