Grants awarded to Thornbury High Street projects
TWO projects from Thornbury have been awarded grants as part of a drive to help high streets recover from lockdown.
The schemes, aimed at helping bring more people back to Thornbury High Street as the town emerges from the third COVID-19 lockdown, are worth £9,520.
They have come from a total of £400,000 from South Gloucestershire Council's Help us Thrive fund, which is being given to 63 applicants out of more than 200 who applied.
Grants are being spread around a total of eight high street areas, which also include Downend, Staple Hill, Kingswood, Hanham, Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Filton.
In Thornbury, £4,520 has been awarded to the Unofficial Thornbury High Street Association, which includes pubs the Malthouse, the Swan and the White Lion, to spend on similar events to the fun day which was held in September last year.
That event brought market stalls, charity stalls, a climbing wall, a funfair and food onto the High Street to make use of space available while the street was closed to traffic.
Organisers said it was a success and planned to hold a craft fair, Christmas market and a vintage fair on the street later in the year, but these had to be cancelled after a rise in coronavirus infections led to two more lockdowns.
The association is now reviving its plans in the hope of bringing more people from both in and outside the town to the High Street.
Sandra Davies, of the Swan, said: “There are a number of events that we are considering to bring people into the High Street.
"There isn’t anything put in stone at the moment, as we are waiting for the government to announce that restrictions have been lifted and that it’s safe to do so.”
Wallace Barbers, also on the High Street, won £5,000 for its Let’s Get Talking initiative to enable men to talk about mental health while receiving a free haircut.
The idea behind it is that men often open up to their barber, and can feel more comfortable in a salon than in a clinic.
Men who have been affected by lockdown or who are generally struggling with their mental health can walk into Wallace Barbers, have a free haircut and have the opportunity to talk and be listened to.
The business, owned by Cole Wallace, has been awarded £5,000 to fund the project by South Gloucestershire Council’s Help us Thrive programme, set up to support high street businesses to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and bring in more customers.
The free walk-in sessions are due to start on Thursday June 3, for two hours from 5.30pm, with doors closing to clients at 7pm.
They will run for a trial month and if they’re successful, the company will continue them until the end of August.
Explaining the project in a Facebook post, Cole said: “We aren’t asking you to directly talk about your issues, maybe just coming in for a haircut and having an opportunity for someone to listen is all that is needed."
There will be a mental health nurse available at the salon in case anyone wants to talk to them.
Cole is linking the programme to a fundraiser for the charity Movember, which aims to prevent men from dying young, and is asking clients to donate via a fundraising page at justgiving.com/fundraising/cole-wallace.
Community groups could apply for up to £20,000, new businesses up to £10,000 and existing businesses up to £5,000, with anyone applying for more than £5,000 needing to supply evidence they were providing a similar level of funding themselves.
Council cabinet member Rachael Hunt said: “It’s great to see so many community organisations and local businesses across the area receive funding, which will help our high streets recover and flourish again following the Covid-19 pandemic."