Leighton Buzzard’s market has received a boost after the town council secured funding from Central Bedfordshire Council.
This is one of four initiatives in the town, which has secured £320,000 worth of funding from the unitary authority as part of its wider £4million Market Town Regeneration Fund.
The funding aims to help make Leighton Buzzard a more attractive place for new visitors and encourage shoppers into the High Street.
The £4million scheme was launched last year, with the money coming from Central Beds Council’s own capital budget to help finance more than 30 programmes spread across seven towns.
The funding aims to enhance the vibrancy of market towns and promote their role in shaping and supporting economic growth, particularly those towns facing population pressures.
Leighton-Linslade Town Council will provide 50 per cent co-funding for the projects, which are set to be delivered by March 2018:
> Installation of electronic signs that will provide up-to-the-minute information to the public about the town centre attractions, local promotions and travel advice.
> The market will see changes in its layout, branding and advertising, improvements in its electricity supply and new stalls suitable for all weathers. This will help the market to attract new customers and visitors to the town.
> Training programmes to help market traders get the latest skills in marketing, social media promotions, and using new digital payment methods.
> Architectural lighting will complement the High Street’s historical architecture. The lighting will run the full length of the High Street, and will help encourage visitors to remain in town into the evenings.
Cllr Nigel Young, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Our £4million Market Town Regeneration Fund initiative provides significant money to help rejuvenate our important market towns, at a time when very few other authorities are investing in town centres.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Leighton-Linslade Town Council. Backed by the continuing work the council is delivering in areas of regeneration, business support, employment and skills, these projects will help ensure the vibrancy of Leighton-Linslade, support its economic growth and act as a catalyst for wider ongoing investment, employment and development.”