Ripon wins high street cash fund

Ripon market place.
Ripon market place.

Ripon has secured a £10,000 cash boost from the Government to promote the city centre, after winning its bid to become a Town Team Partner.

Ripon MP Julian Smith supported the bid after the city lost out on the £100,000 Mary Portas high street revamp scheme in May.

Despite the Town Team cash pot being only one tenth of the size of the Portas Pilot fund, Mr Smith remains optimistic about how the money can be spent.

“I am really pleased that the Government has listened,” Mr Smith told the Gazette. “Help with some initial funding can encourage funding from elsewhere and it gives people something to work with. It encourages people to work together. We are now in a very positive position to improve Ripon.”

The Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership (GRIP) plans to use the money for its three-point initiative:

l to create mock-ups of the Ripon mural on Skellgate and place them outside empty shops on the high street;

l to develop public artworks down the alleyways in the city centre to draw people back to the market square;

l to spark weekend activity on the square by opening new markets, such as charity stalls.

Judith Donovan, chairman of GRIP, said: “We want to create cosmetic solutions and more traffic flow and this money encourages people to put more money in.

“We are absolutely thrilled.”

The Town Team offer was made to all the 392 places that were unsuccessful in the Portas scheme, spearheaded by retail guru Mary Portas.

In addition to the £10,000 grant, each town will receive support from the Association of Town Centre Management to improve the city’s prosperity.