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Dover Town Team applying again for Coastal Community Fund grant for Market Square revamp


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A business people’s group is trying again to get funding to create a new-look for a prominent town-centre area.

Dover Town Team (DTT) is applying in the latest round of bids to the government’s Coastal Community Fund (CCF), despite being rejected last year.

The group is now hoping it can make a stronger bid for Market Square with support from local councils.

An artist's impression of the planned new Market Square. Picture courtesy of Hartwell Architects
An artist's impression of the planned new Market Square. Picture courtesy of Hartwell Architects

Director Neil Wiggins revealed the plan at the group’s annual meeting.

He said: “We are seeking a formal co-operation agreement between Dover Town Team, Dover Town Council, Dover District Council and Kent County Council.”

Mr Wiggins said he believed that decisions on the next round of bids would be made by March 2019 and funds released the following month.

The project will include a new fountain and limited de-pedestrianistation of Cannon Street and Biggin Street.

Its bid for a grant for £2.9 million to the CCF was rejected at the final stage last spring amid stiff competition from towns across the country.

It had successfully got through the first stage.

Trees are planned to line King Street in Dover. Picture courtesy of Hartwell Architects
Trees are planned to line King Street in Dover. Picture courtesy of Hartwell Architects

The new fountain would have water coming directly from the ground, like the one at Folkestone Harbour, and there would be trees along King Street.

There are also plans to create an improved space for community activities and markets.

Market Square is seen as a natural connector with developments such as the St James’ retail and leisure complex and the Port of Dover’s Dover Western Docks Revival.

The meeting, at the Dover Marina Hotel and Spa, also heard that the town had a healthy summer in terms of tourism.

It increased due to a rise in cruise liner calls, from 99 to 118 in the past year.

Tourism figures will be officially announced towards the end of the year by Visit Kent.

But Diederik Smet, manager of the tourism group Destination Dover, said: “Attractions and businesses in Dover are reporting a strong summer with some saying they have had their best ever.”

He said there were other factors that helped such as the weaker pound.

He added: “Attractions and businesses have been more proactive with more events and increased market activities.

“Businesses and organisations are working better together in promoting Dover.

“Increased press coverage on Dover has also highlighted the area’s visitor offering.”

DTT holds an open meeting, for the public to attend, on the first Monday of all months except January and May.

The next will be on Monday, November 6, at 5.30pm at the Dover Marina Hotel and Spa in Waterloo Crescent.

For more stories from the DTT annual meeting see this week's Dover Mercury.

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