Cash boost for Dales market towns

Two Dales market towns have been given a cash boost this week – they have each been awarded £10,000 from a Government pot set up to improve the country’s High Streets.

Leyburn and Hawes have become ‘Town Team Partners’ – a spin off from the Portas town initiative where 12 towns across the country were accepted on to a scheme to regenerate them as a destination.

Town Team Partners will mean that all 326 towns that bid for cash will be able to put improvement plans into action – as well as share learning with other town teams and retail experts across the country.

In Hawes the cash will be used to enhance the marketing and promotion of the town – as a tourist and local destination.

There will be work on ‘Live, Shop, Local’ guide highlighting the shops and services on offer, as well as a new Hawes specific website. And cash will be used to use the volunteer run ‘Little White Bus’ service to create a circular bus route around the town and its attractions during the school holidays.

Councillor John Blackie, Leader of Richmondshire District Council and Hawes councillor said: “This is very exciting news for Hawes and gives us the opportunity to develop the High Street into an even more vibrant place to visit. We want people to come to the town and see what is on offer – and with this money we can create a range of marketing materials and tools to help us do that.”

In Leyburn a variety of existing events will be boosted by the cash – including the 1940s weekend, Dales Festival and Christmas celebrations.

And ward councillor Fleur Butler said it would also help bring broadband to everyone. “We will be looking to have free wifi across the town,” she said. “And on top of that we will be able to undertake more work to promote the markets and the retail offer the town provides. It was disappointing not to win the Portas bid but this money is a welcome boost and means we can go some way towards improving facilities for everyone.”