Council banks on town’s success

Posted by: Chris Witham - Posted on:

HSBC BankCinderford Town Council are looking to invest in the old HSBC building in the town centre as part of their plan to boost the local economy. The project also aims to make a “Changing Places” toilet available to make Cinderford more accessible for people with complex disabilities.

Following Cllr Witham’s report to council in July, “Improving the High Street, Supporting Local Businesses”, councillors identified the opportunity to make the HSBC site a new focal point for the Triangle to drive footfall, provide opportunities for startup businesses and showcase the heritage of the town. Initial plans include establishing a changing places toilet, retail space for pop-up shops and space for historical exhibits.

Cinderford Town Council are seeking public approval to borrow £200,000 from the PWLB (Public Works Loan Board) in order to purchase the building and complete the required work. There would be no increase in precept to fund the loan repayments. To have your say, please complete our online survey.

Cllr Chris Witham said, “The loan from purchasing the Belle Vue Centre will be paid off this year and now seems like a great time to be able to further invest in the future of our town without having to increase council tax to pay for it.”

Butcher Cameron Swaine said “I genuinely think it’s a fantastic idea. It would be great to see some positive movement in the town instead of shops closing and the public running it down all the time. I think if you gave independent retailers/locals a scheme where they could have really cheap rent for a year at the new bank, with the idea to then move into one of the empty shops following a successful year, that would give people a really good head start”

Pop up shops offer an easy, low-cost way for burgeoning businesses to take their first steps and offer a great way to get new and different shops into local areas. They have been fundamental in reinvigorating other towns looked at by councillors and can provide new ventures with a stepping stone to taking on their own premises.

Standard accessible toilets meet the needs of some disabled people – but not all. Over 230,000 of people living in the UK need personal assistance to use the toilet or change continence pads. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, some people who have had a severe stroke, some people with acquired head injuries and some older people.

They – and their families and carers – need Changing Places toilets to be able to take part in their communities. But many face a daily challenge to leave their homes because this basic need is not met in most big public places. There are only a small number of public Changing Places toilets in the UK.

Changing Places toilets provide: The right equipment including, a height adjustable changing bench and a tracking hoist system.  A safe and clean environment with adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers.

20 replies on “Council banks on town’s success”

  • Interesting, but no details as to how the loan works, how much and how many years repayment is, interest rate etc.

    • We are looking for a 7-year loan with repayments similar to those that have been paid for the Belle Vue centre. We, therefore, know this is a manageable amount to take on and will not have a long-term negative financial impact.

      Chris Witham Administrator
  • Brilliant idea,now we have paid offbelle vue.That has been a long time once that has been paid there should be noincrease in community charge.

    robert harris
  • Museum would be great idea.

    Leslie Ore.
  • Yes sounds good but no more eating places l think Cinderford has enough. The disabled parking by boots chemist is on a sloup so getting out of a wheelchair into a car without the chair tipping over is very difficult at the same time has trying to put person back in her seat perhaps you could look at that as well.

    Carol Ridler
  • An excellent idea. Like the idea of pop up shops to give people a start.m

    Patricia Allen
  • I think this is a great idea. The structure of Cinderford Triangle makes it an ideal town centre. However, some of the shop fronts are absolutely filthy & Landlords should be forced to maintain their buildings. Parking or rather illegal parking needs to be addressed. There are many talented local people that could fill shops with their crafts or share spaces. A wider variety of shops that meets the needs of the local community is essential as well as encouraging tourists.

    Kathryn Tallack
  • Excellent idea

    Clare Hill-whatmore
  • Yes this a brilliant idea to move Cinderford foward and give small businesses a startup
    Also to cater for the needs of everyone in the community
    Let’s move Cinderford foward!

    Evelyn Smith
  • This all sounds great and especially a Changing Places toilet. This is greatly needed. As someone with mobility issues, my only reserve about this is the siting of where this toilet facility would be. The gradient of the hill on which the HSBC building is sited is incredibly difficult to access with mobility issues. Parking is also limited around this building. Personally, I can no longer access this part of town becuase of the gradient of this hill so, due to this wouldn’t take advantange of what would be an excellent facility. How many other people would this also affect?

    Miriam Goldby
  • Sounds like a great idea. Anything that provides new business and increases footfall has to be welcomed. As long as I the Midcounties cooperative are not any part of it . I would be pleased to support this.

    Pete James
  • excellent location to ask police to have some sort of police station there.

    robert harris
  • public toilets and disabled would be great as there is not alot to be said about the ones we found in a car park sorry cant remember the name of the road the decoration was lovely the toilets were fillthy

  • Fantastic idea, Cinderford investing in itself. Well done Councillors, well done indeed.

    Julie Partrodge
  • Museum and toilets will be a good ide. Great building. Makes a high quality contribution to the town centre.

    Clare Wright
  • Fabulous idea and not before time. There are lots of disabled people who would benefit from this facility and it would be a real help for the many carers. Brilliant for people who are looking to start up their own business and to showcase their work.

    Kim Howard
  • Pop up shops are a good idea

  • Think it’s a fantastic idea. Cinderford is a great little town that is slowly looking is individual character. Well done to Cllr Withan and the rest of the council.

    Karen Jones
  • I also have an issue with the steeply sloping site of this building for low mobility users without motorised transport. Plus the parking is often poor. I’d prefer to see the toilets at Haywood Road carpark upgraded with more disabled bays provided. Even then, without a car and adequate parking or motorised transport it will be very difficult for disabled customers to use the High Street to it’s full potential. If my father was still around I would never have been able to handle the slopes with him in his wheelchair.

    Beverly Stacey
  • I think this sounds fantastic! Great to see some investment going into the town, and thinking wider than just chain businesses but bringing opportunities for new businesses to develop and facilities for the community to use. Excellent!

    Karen Lander

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