The Town Team started when the Trowbridge County Town Initiative, with funding from Wiltshire Council put itself forward to bid for the Mary Portas Competition back in March 2012.
Unfortunately no Wiltshire towns were successful but work has been going on behind the scenes ever since for one of the main recommendations set out in the Portas Review, to have a Town Team, to become a reality.
An outline Business Plan for the Town Centre, undertaken on a voluntary basis, was submitted to the Town Council after the Ports application deadline, a consequence of which was seed corn funding of £3,000 to bring the Town Team to reality. Application packs for Trustees where sent out in August 2012 to representatives and management teams from The Trowbridge County Town Initiative, Arts Festival Committee, Chamber of Commerce, The Shires Shopping Centre and Castle Place with a request to forward the information to interested parties and the first meeting of trustees was held last week.
We have now held three public meetings, the first upstairs at Leykers Coffee Central in late August, the second at the Civic Centre in September and the third at Fabric Magic two weeks ago. The database for reaching interesting parties is ongoing and we are keen to hear from anyone who wants to be included.
Trowbridge Town Team is in the process of being incorporated as a Community Interest Company, meaning it shall be run as a business with profits going back into town centre regeneration projects. The constitution maintains that any person or persons who work, shop, reside or otherwise have an interest in Trowbridge can be members.
The Town Team is to be funded from a range of sources including grant applications, private investment, corporate investment, special events such as The Fore Street Food Fest and the new weekly market that launched on March 27th 2013.
We have recently responded to the Department of Communities and Local Government who have come up with the Town Team Partners package. This is aimed at Portas Pilot applicants to ensure that “no town will be left behind” and is a package of support that will include £10,000 and free membership to The Association for Town Centre Management for three-months. It has involved gaining support from our MP, Dr Andrew Murrison who gladly signed us up and monies have assisted us in the purchase of quality market umbrellas, together with a grant from the Trowbridge Area Board.
There are a great many groups doing fantastic work, operating in Trowbridge and the aim of the Town Team is to support and enhance what is being achieved already, but primarily to focus on the regeneration of the town that has already started. It is our remit to liaise with these groups so that duplication of effort is avoided and to come up with ways to improve footfall in the town centre, get people to linger for longer, put on community events that include all demographics, support retailers and apply for funding to support all these projects.
If you have any ideas please get in touch.