TWO new champions have been appointed to focus specifically on developing Tamworth town centre and promoting the town’s rich heritage.
While creating a town centre fit for the 21st century is a strategic priority for Tamworth Borough Council as a whole, the dedicated champions have been tasked with carrying out some detailed research and consultation to help further these aims.
Councillor Ben Price has been appointed Town Centre Champion while newly-elected councillor Paul Brindley will take on the role of Heritage Champion.
They will be speaking to businesses, groups and individuals across the town to understand the challenges and explore opportunities for working together to develop, improve and promote the town centre and its rich heritage.
The duo will be supporting the council’s new Cabinet member for Heritage and Growth, Cllr Jeremy Oates, whose portfolio includes town centre regeneration, tourism, heritage and economic and business development.
Cllr Oates, who has served as a Tamworth councillor for almost 20 years, said: “We know Tamworth is a great town with a lot going for it, but we also need to move with the times and ensure our town centre remains fit for purpose for 21st century residents, shoppers, visitors and businesses.
“We currently have a huge focus on the town centre and promoting Tamworth as a destination across the country and abroad. As part of that we are working on the creation of a new vision for the town centre which sets out our plans for making sure it not only survives, but thrives during the changing times. We are also working on a new tourism strategy.
“We have been consulting widely with the community as part of our Tamworth…What’s Next? campaign which seeks to ensure we take as many views on board as possible when creating this new vision and hundreds have given their feedback and ideas.
“However, there’s no denying it’s a big job and it’s important we get it right, so the two champions have been appointed to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in understanding the challenges and creating the best possible vision.
“The new town centre champion will look at some of the specific issues in more depth and will be engaging with as many groups and businesses as possible to ensure we are all working together and towards the same goals.
“Tamworth also has a very rich heritage and this is one of the town’s main selling points when it comes to attracting tourists. Heritage was also something that came up repeatedly as part of the Tamworth…What’s Next? debate and therefore this will also be given special focus by a dedicated champion.”
Cllr Price said: “We want to make sure we understand all the challenges and work together with businesses in the creation of a new vision for the town centre. I’ll be looking to meet with as many people as possible, as well as exploring a variety of issues, such as the added value provided by events in the town centre and opportunities for funding.”
Cllr Brindley said: “I am very honoured and excited as a newly elected councillor to have the responsibility of this new role of Heritage Champion for Tamworth. Part of my role will be to review the Tamworth story and how we tell it both nationally and internationally. I will be meeting and liaising with heritage groups in the town to gain an understanding of their aims and ambitions, identify opportunities for cultural exchange visits and look at how Tamworth can be branded as a heritage destination.”