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Council seek external funding for Windsor Town Centre Vision

The council will attempt to secure £100,000 funding from an external partner to create a new vision for the town centre.

A report, unanimously approved by cabinet, seeks to undertake a consultation which will bring residents and councillors together to share ideas on how to improve the town centre for locals and tourists.

Speaking during the meeting at York House on Thursday, October 31, Cllr Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle) deputy leader of the council, resident and leisure services, said: “Windsor is a world-wide recognised town with a vibrant tourist, resident and business community.”

She said the existing Windsor Neighbourhood Plan and the Windsor 2030 Neighbourhood Plan both contain a vision for the town’s future and the proposed consultation aims to integrate with these projects to ‘shape and guide what we want to see for Windsor in the future’.

Windsor 2030 is a business-led neighbourhood forum setting out a vision based on the town’s heritage, economic growth and facilities.

The process will also specifically target engagement for a range of groups including young people, through schools and clubs, young adults and the creative business community.

An earlier version of the report, published in September, said the project would be funded by the council – which drew criticism from Cllr Helen Price (The Borough First, Clewer and Dedworth), who questioned if public money should be spent on a new study to build on what had already been done.

When asked why the council would now be looking to fund the project externally, Cllr Rayner said this is consistent with similar work in Maidenhead.

At the meeting Cllr Price acknowledged the work and money already invested by property consultancy GL Hearn, Windsor 2030 and discussions with the Windsor Town Forum.

She said: “I would hate to think all of that work is just being pushed to one side and not considered when this vision has taken so much consultation.

“This might mean we don’t have to pay £100,000 on this because a lot of work has already been done.”

Responding to Cllr Price, executive director of the council Russell O’Keefe said these areas would be included in the proposed work for the Windsor Town Centre Vision and part of the selection process would include ways in which they can be incorporated and developed.

Once funding is secured the council will look at appointing consultants for the project.

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