Transformational investment for a healthy, vibrant high street to support a healthy, sustainable community.
On behalf of Torbay Council, TDA has submitted a bid for more than £15m for Future High Streets Funding to kick start the regeneration of Paignton town centre.
The grant, from Government, will unlock ‘paused’ public and private investment, totalling an estimated £24.5m, to transform Paignton’s town centre. This would result in more people living and working in Paignton, more visitors, as well as a better offer and experience in the town centre.
Paignton is home to 44,000 people; over 8,000 of which live in the town centre. It is Devon’s fourth largest town and is the historic and cultural heart of Torbay, with great architecture and events, including the Torbay Airshow. It has full transport services, including a direct train to London, with a flat, walkable town centre with easy access to the beach, harbour and old town. Over 75% of high street businesses are independent. All this, in a fantastic natural environment – the world’s only urban geopark, designated by UNESCO.
Despite this fantastic potential – and as the last 10 years has shown – Paignton is not resilient to change. It is the least likely town in the Torbay area to secure private sector investment. Consequently, Paignton has fallen behind other coastal towns in the UK in terms of economic performance and is in the top 10% most health deprived communities in England. Paignton has low levels of productivity, a significant decline in the number of shoppers, as well as increasing levels of crime. These, and other factors, limit Paignton’s ability to fulfil its great potential.
The Council has set out a regeneration strategy for Paignton town centre and committed resources to it, so there are shovel ready schemes. But Council investment is being hampered by market conditions and a lack of other significant investment. The town centre can recover, with targeted public and private sector investment. Future High Streets Funding would be targeted at the following:
Five quick win ‘shovel ready’ schemes, where delivery will underline USP, improve experience, catalyse regeneration activity and lever in co-funding. This includes public realm improvements to Paignton Station Square; improvements to Paignton Railway Station to support further increases in rail passenger numbers; delivery of 100 new homes at Victoria Centre; digital marketing training for independent retailers; and repair to the frontage of Paignton Picture House to open up the building for greater use.
TDA is also seeking transformational funding, for three key elements of a modern high street, namely improved public space (which also improves people’s health); greater diversity of ground floor uses, to improve footfall and spend; and re-use of vacant or under-used space for residential use.
Future High Streets Funding will also help deliver six key town centre projects, namely: comprehensive redevelopment of Victoria Centre, for a mix of uses; Paignton Picture House brought back into full use, as cinema, cultural and community hub; a new health and wellbeing hub delivered alongside Paignton Library; the redevelopment of Crossways for mixed or residential use; food & drink / leisure opportunities along Torbay Road; an enhanced and part redeveloped bus station, adding commercial space.
Twenty regional and local partners, including MPs and retail representatives, believe that Future High Streets Funding, and associated co-funding, is essential for the recovery of Paignton town centre. It will bring the wow factor, vitality and vibrancy back to Paignton town centre.
Visit www.investintorbay.com/town-centres-regeneration and www.torbay.gov.uk/leisure-sports-and-community/regeneration/future-high-streets for more information.