Marcus Jones MP, Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Minister for High Streets, visited the Falmouth Town Team on Wednesday 23 September to learn first-hand about the innovative ideas and projects being delivered to support the town, its businesses and residents.
The visit is a follow-up to a meeting and tour of the town with senior DCLG officials, again hosted by the Falmouth Town Team nearly a year ago. The feedback from that session was extremely positive, with officials hugely impressed with the partnership approach being pioneered by Falmouth, leading to a recommendation by them to the Minister to call in on Falmouth as part of his Cornwall visit.
The Minister’s visit also had a focus on the Business Improvement District (BID) scene in Cornwall. With eight BIDs now operating in towns and areas of the county, they represent and support over 3,500 businesses but the Falmouth Town Team is the first such private/public town management partnership in Cornwall. The six-year partnership is between the Falmouth BID and the Falmouth Town Council funded Town Management function and over that time, it has become the vital management resource for Falmouth, delivering the town’s major festivals, destination marketing campaigns, public realm improvements, business training programmes and more. Importantly, it is also a galvanising resource with the flexibility to respond to and act upon, opportunities for Falmouth, its businesses and residents.
Richard Wilcox, Falmouth BID Manager said: “It was great to welcome Marcus Jones and members of his department from the DCLG to Falmouth and Cornwall. It gave us the opportunity to showcase our terrific town, highlight the importance of working in partnership and demonstrate how it has enabled many exciting projects, more festivals and marketing campaigns to be delivered. We are delighted that both visits confirmed that the Falmouth Town Team works very effectively and sets Falmouth apart by helping raise the town’s profile, attracting new business investment, reducing the number of vacant units and supporting a more positive and vibrant high street.”
Richard Gates, Falmouth Town Manager said: “We are extremely pleased that Falmouth has been recognised for its partner-driven approach. Small resources are not a barrier to big ideas and so we constantly look for innovative ways of working together to support and promote our fantastic town. The challenges facing the UK high street are clear, meaning we all cannot rest on our laurels. The community-led approach is a credit to the town and it’s only by working with the resident, volunteer and business community that Falmouth can continue to grow and develop.”
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said: “Falmouth is a great example of retailers, the council and the Business Improvement District working together to deliver a plan to make the town a success. They’ve realised that the high street has changed beyond all recognition in recent years and have looked at doing things differently by creating a vibrant, thriving destination. Many other areas could learn from Falmouth’s winning formula. “