Breathing new life into Dunstable town centre

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Dunstable Town Council is preparing a bid for cash to spruce up the area.

The national Market Town Initiative Programme will offer leading market towns the opportunity to bid for some of the £4.2 million capital funding available in a new programme, for projects to be delivered by 2018.

Match funding of 50% of any grants awarded would need to be found.

A presentation and details of the proposals will be discussed at the next Joint Committee meeting on Thursday November 26, 7pm at the Watling House council offices in High Street North, Dunstable.

Local businesses and members of the public are welcome to attend.

The initiative is part of a series of schemes to help breath new life into the town.

The new chairman of the Dunstable Joint Committee, Cllr Carole Hegley, is keen to improve the environmental wellbeing of the town and encourage more groups and organisations to get involved.

At the last DJC meeting landlords who left properties in a poor state of repair came in for some critisism and the committee was told Central Bedfordshire Council is struggling to recruit an officer who could take enforcement action.

The poor state of shops in Middle Row came in for particular criticism.

Litter around the town was also raised and members agreed businesses needed to be encouraged to help clean up areas and improve the ‘houseeeping’ of Dunstable. A sub committee is to look at an anti-littering campaign.

Minutes of the DJC will be delivered to all shops in the town to enlist their help and support to play their part.

But Cllr Hegley said things were already looking promising.

“Since that meeting it is surprising and pleasing to see a number of buildings being renovated, refurbished, decorated and to hear of more shops opening,” she said.

“We receive regular reports on what Central Beds and Dunstable Town Councils are doing but we felt we should be focusing on some key areas, so are now looking at specific themes.”