Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council
"WE BELIEVE IN NEWPORT"
Purchase of 64 High Street
On 27th September, Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council pledged its commitment to the town centre with the completed acquisition of 64 High Street, the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill site.
In November 2020, the community council commenced exploring the properties available which would allow it to take up a presence in the town Centre. The intention was for NCCC to be more accessible to residents, assist in High Street recovery, provide space for a Newport Heritage Centre, appropriate office space for its staff and a central, accessible space to hold the council meetings. Initially the intention was to rent a property, as it has since it was founded in 2008, however when the viewing of the property took place, it presented an opportunity to invest and fulfil several of the objectives from the Councils adopted strategic plan. These included the intent to acquire property, establish a parish base and commercial property letting. This would be a capital investment for the council and the biggest purchase made to date. The purchase was achieved without impacting the precept payers of Newport as the Community Council reduced the precept for the 2021/2022 financial year by 2.4%.
NCCC is the lead partner for the Historic England High Street Heritage Action Zone programme for Newport which commenced in May 2020. As part of this, and with the property being located within the zone for the project, a feasibility study was carried out to provide an insight to councillors into its potential uses and configuration potential. The council has also applied to the programme for grant funding for shop front improvements to enhance the aesthetics, and to assist with a feasibility study into repurposing the first floor and reinstating the appropriate access from the street.
"This purchase marks a new era for Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council. After 13 years we now have our own base in the heart of the town and a sound investment on behalf of residents. In time we will be able to be more accessible and provide space for historical displays, meetings and retail opportunities, amongst other uses. Councillors feel it's important that we show commitment to reviving the High Street and that we believe in Newport. Working with the High Street Heritage Action Zone means we can create a high-quality space that respects the building and conservation area." Cllr. Jones-Evans, Member for Newport Central.