The Board received a presentation and update on the Welcome Back Programme and how it had been delivered in Halton.
The Board was advised that the Welcome Back Programme was funding received by Councils to build on the Reopening High Streets Safety Fund (RHSSF) in 2020; Halton’s allocation of this was £114,260 and an allocation of £179,260 was made for the Welcome Back Fund (WBF), giving a total budget for Halton of £293,520 to deliver the project.
Members heard how this funding had been used, in line with the grant criteria, to meet various activity strands, such as developing an action plan for the safe reopening of local economies; this and other activity strands were outlined in the report and elaborated on in the presentation.
Further to Members questions, the following information was provided:
· No additional staff were recruited to lead the delivery of the project; which was primarily delivered using existing resources. However a part time existing HBC officer was offered an additional one day per week for 7 months to support the project liaising between partners and HBC Officers;
· Town Centres’ were seeing an increase in footfall more recently;
· The project was originally due to end in March 2021 but it was extended to March 2022; and
· There were no further plans to extend the Programme beyond this date but businesses would still have the support of the Council.
The Board recognised the enormity of the task for staff of delivering the Programme and passed on thanks to the Team involved in its success.
RESOLVED: That the Board notes the presentation and action points.