The Borough Council of Wellingborough intends to ensure that a community event will be held in August by utilising section 106 funding.
This money from local developments will mean that the popular summer event, likely to still be a beach, can go ahead if the Wellingborough BID group, who have previously run it, withdraw.
The council has recently invested in the market area to create an events space and has requested that the Wellingborough BID group locate the Beach to the market in order to help the vitality of the market, provide a safe locality and, importantly, protect the five wells mosaics in Market Street. There are already signs of damage and the council does not wish this deterioration to continue.
The BID would prefer to stage the event outside the Castello Lounge, however, the council has agreed that it must remain consistent in its position of not allowing events to take place on the mosaics to ensure that they are preserved for future generations.
Around £27,000 was spent on the mosaics in 2015 to repair weather damage and wear and tear from vehicles.The mosaics are not designed to take the wear from traffic, increased footfall or the set-up of fairground attractions and vehicles, which is the main reason for the change of venue, alongside moving away from the main road.
Councillor Graham Lawman, chairman of the Market Working Party said: “If the BID feel unable to support the beach this year, then the council are keen to step in and ensure that a summer event, hopefully a beach, goes ahead to avoid disappointment.”
“This can be done through the use of monies recently secured from developers through a S106 agreement for town centre events, aimed at supporting the vitality and viability of the town centre.”
“The BID were made aware of this funding when applying to hold the Beach 2018 outside of the Castello Lounge and we offered to provide funding and work with the BID and Wellingborough Norse to help promote the beach 2018, in addition to putting in place a range of additional activities for the people of the borough to enjoy throughout the year.”
“It is unfortunate that, to date, the BID have not accepted this offer.”
The council can use the funding to support the ‘vitality and viability of the town centre’. The S106 monies are a “one-off” but the council will consider how summer events in the town centre can be supported in future years.