Under Pressure – Newmarket gets clean sweep this New Year

07 Jan 2022

A programme of pressure washing and chewing gum removal will be carried out in Newmarket to encourage more visitors to the town centre.

The initiative is part of a campaign to encourage people to support local businesses while staying COVID-19 safe across West Suffolk High Streets. It is also part of a wider drive from Love Newmarket (the Business Improvement District for Newmarket – BID) and the Town Council to support people to take pride in Newmarket and improve the look of the town.

West Suffolk Council estimates it will spend more than £250,000 of Welcome Back funding which it successfully bid for to help local High Streets and the economy recover from the pandemic.

It is to be used on a series of projects and initiatives to encourage people to use their local High Streets in a COVID-19 safe way while helping the economy to recover.

Partners, including Business Improvement Districts and local councils, were consulted on what initiatives to take forward that met the strict criteria.

One of the lead responses from partners was for additional deep street cleaning and chewing gum removal, as well as improved landscape maintenance. This is to help further encourage visitors and make the town centres an even more welcome place to shop.

A programme of pressure washing and chewing gum removal started in Bury St Edmunds on 12 December. This will now carry on across the rest of the district’s towns over the coming weeks and months.

In addition, the Council has listened to feedback and have been putting out extra bins to help keep the area tidier.

There will also be a campaign encouraging people to back their local businesses while staying COVID-19 safe, an extension of the campaign the Council ran last year.

In addition, the Council will be supporting events, encouraging people to use our markets and additional promotions in the New Year around supporting local businesses and town centres.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities oversee the Welcome Back funding programme which originates from the European Regional Development Fund. 

The aim of the Welcome Back Fund is to help councils prepare for the safe return of shoppers, diners and tourists following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Cllr Peter Stevens, Portfolio Holder for Operations, said: “West Suffolk Council has been successful in bidding for this funding which is designed to help encourage more people to visit and shop locally, welcoming them back to our High Streets. There are strict rules what this can be spent on and we have engaged with our partners to bring forward a range of initiatives including this deep clean to further encourage people into our already popular towns. The work in Bury St Edmunds has gone well and we are pleased to work with the Love Newmarket and the Town Council on this initiative from the weekend. This initiative not only helps encourage people to support local businesses and keep COVID-19 safe but also to take pride in this great town of Newmarket. This is part of a wider programme of initiatives and events we have carried out during the pandemic from helping businesses access millions of pounds in grants to holding events such as Christmas in Bury St Edmunds.”

Steve Elsom, chair of Love Newmarket said: “One of the key ambitions as we entered our second term was to improve the look and feel of our town centre, in order to make it a better place to live, work and visit. We are delighted to have partnered with both the District and the Town council to deliver the deep clean programme which will greatly enhance our town centre environment and hopefully further encourage the return of shoppers and visitors to our historic town.”

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