Temperatures are dropping and stormy skies have replaced the hot balmy evenings of just a couple of weeks ago.
Timely then that our thoughts turn to going back to school and of course welcoming university students, new and returning. Rest assured that in addition to the steps taken by the universities, social distancing measures already in place in our town centres will enable us all to stay safe. Extra measurers are being put in place to ensure we can all continue to enjoy our fantastic local hospitality, award winning parks and as the leaves turn our spectacular open spaces too.
Supporting our local businesses
Our local businesses have benefitted from the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme and it has been brilliant to see our town centres coming alive during the week, with queues outside popular cafés, restaurants and bars. There’s just one more day of the scheme left on Bank Holiday Monday, so check if you can book a table at one of the places on the list. Even better news that some our eateries are planning to continue with the discounts, so we’ll update you on details as we hear more.
Applications for the Government’s business grant scheme and discretionary grant scheme have ended this week. We’ve been delighted to have been able to pay-out £31.6m in grants to support 96% of eligible businesses. In addition, we’ve distributed 100% of the council’s discretionary grant fund to over 400 small businesses.
But our backing for local businesses will continue. Working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, we’ve set aside £250,000 to offer as business loans, backed by the Government’s 80% guarantee. This scheme will provide ready cash flow to companies in Warwick district which are having difficulty getting backing from their banks. We’ll monitor the demand for this cashflow support, to ensure we do all that we can to help protect vital local jobs.
Supporting our local development plans
Two key development projects made positive steps forward this week:
To boost the direct provision of affordable homes, we were pleased to be able to acquire the 1.78-acre former riding school in Cubbington for 17 new homes, including 7 affordable properties. This is a positive step forward for our wider plans to enable local people to have high quality, modern homes within the district.
To develop a 100-bedroom business hotel and relocate a new flagship BMW dealership, we were pleased to exchange contracts with Opus Land to unlock land at Gallows Hill. Located next to Warwick Technology Park, this site has planning consent, enabling welcome investment and further jobs for the district.
Supporting our local community life
There is much to look forward to this autumn in our vibrant and developing creative sector:
Creative Mornings are back online – the next is 18 September, 8am. Sign-up and see who else is (virtually) attending.
Creative Monthly Surgeries –to support our spectacular creatives – the next surgery will be on 10 September, 10 – 11.30am, contact [email protected] to book your 20-minute slot.
Covent Garden Market – back on 30 August, 10am – 4pm on Warwick Street Leamington, showcasing the array of creative, independent producers.
Heritage Open Days – This year’s event is smaller than usual as a result of coronavirus, but there is still the opportunity to visit buildings, gardens and historic places of interest not normally open to the public, free of charge. And this year there are virtual tours too! Find out more about Heritage Open Days 2020.
Keep smiling and stay safe.
Cllr Andrew Day
Leader, Warwick District Council
Chief Executive, Warwick District Council