Councillors at Chichester District Council agreed to release funding to explore the possibility of a new project to support the high street in Chichester city centre. The council has been allocated £70,000 from the Business Rates Pool by West Sussex County Council to establish an ‘innovative high street project’.
A list of ideas was put together and considered by the council’s Economic Development Panel in September. The panel’s favoured scheme was to use the funds for a feasibility study, to explore the potential of a project to bring new destination markets to the Cattle Market and/or the Little London car park locations. The study will also look into the idea of a series of lockable pods that can be used flexibly for different events and in different locations. If the feasibility study identifies a deliverable project, any remaining funds will be directed towards the associated costs.
Councillor Tony Dignum, the council’s Cabinet Member for Growth and Regeneration, says “Supporting our high streets is a key priority for the council, and we wanted to come up with something different that would help bring people to the city centre and support shops there. We know that the city has suffered since the pandemic struck, and so we hope that, if found to be feasible, this project will really boost the city centre and bring something different to the city. At the moment, we are in the very early stages of assessing the project, which will include consulting with stakeholders such as adjacent retailers and occupiers, and the Chichester Business Improvement District.”