A £10,000 project to transform part of Rugby town centre into a beach has been praised … because it moved food delivery drivers away from a pedestrianised area.
The seaside conversion of Market Place was one of a number of events laid on by the borough council as part of its Summertime programme which rounds off on Saturday [Aug 28] with a day of live music across the town centre.
Speaking at last night’s (August 25) full council meeting, Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem, Eastlands) said: “Having the beach event and using Market Place as a proper event plaza was very much welcomed by people who use the town centre and had the beneficial effect of us moving the UBer and other delivery drivers away from there because there was nowhere for them to unlawfully park.
“Could I suggest that when we look at a strategy for the town centre that the event plaza has to be at the top of our agenda?”
The matter was discussed at the meeting as delegated powers were used to draw up the list of projects with the money coming from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund.
Cllr Jill SImpson-Vince (Con, Coton and Boughton), the portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: “A range of activities have been ongoing and further activities will happen across the town centre. All are designed to bring residents back into town.
“For events to happen in the summer we couldn’t wait until this council meeting so it needed to go through as an emergency decision as a procurement process had to start as soon as possible for some of these events.”
Nearly £175,000 is available for a range of initiatives that include decorating shop fronts, installing hanging baskets and arranging for an outdoor cinema to be set-up.
The money will also cover the cost of events in the run-up to Christmas with £36,000 allocated for a synthetic skating rink in Caldecott Park and a further £30,000 for a Lego Town Trail which it is hoped will increase footfall around town centre shops.