The Economic Development Service works to stimulate and support sustainable economic growth and inclusive communities in Wiltshire.
The Regeneration team guides the economic development and growth in Wiltshire's communities through a wide range of projects, initiatives and partnerships. The service has several key delivery areas including sustainable development by supporting job creation, encourages economic programmes, town centre regeneration, rural development, investment and funding, business support and advice.
The One Public Estate programme is an established national programme delivered in partnership by the LGA and the Office of Government Property (OGP) within the Cabinet Office One Public Estate.
The Wiltshire One Public Estate Programme was established in 2013 and works to identify opportunities through combined estate which in turn help to realise savings and improve services. The Wiltshire One Public Estate Partnership meets bi- monthly and has members from the following public sector organisations:
Police Crime Commissioning Unit (PCC), NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Property, NHS Acute Trusts, Wiltshire Ambulance Service, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service, Wiltshire Council, Ministry of Defence, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership & Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Local Growth Fund Projects:
Chippenham Station Hub The Chippenham Station Hub scheme is a Local Growth Funded Project which the SWLEP is delivering with Wiltshire Council and its partner organisations - Network Rail and Great Western Rail alongside a wide range of stakeholders.
Project Gigabit is a £5 billion government infrastructure project that brings together everything the government is doing to provide a reliable digital connectivity for the country.
Swindon, Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership was established by Central Government in July 2022 as a private sector-led partnership between local businesses, Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council, the military and the education sector.
Wiltshire Council allocated £1M a year between 2021-2025 (£4M in total) to support activity on the high streets through the Wiltshire Towns Programme. The Council's business plan embodies our commitment to creating and supporting vibrant town centres to meet the needs of local communities.
Considering the vulnerabilities and challenges that Wiltshire's economy faces with changing consumer habits, such as online shopping and out of town retail developments, a programme of funding and support was established in 2021 and this will continue until 2025.
Vibrant Wiltshire grants
Wiltshire Council is launching the Vibrant Wiltshire grants project, which is part of the Wiltshire Towns Programme, opens in January 2024 to help businesses in the county bring vacant shops and commercial spaces back into use.
The grants are available in targeted areas agreed with town councils, supporting small or micro businesses, including new start-ups, Town and Parish Councils that wish to lease or rent a previously vacant commercial property located in eligible areas within town centres.
Wiltshire Council in conjunction with partners, stakeholders and the public have developed a number of Masterplans and frameworks that help set parameters for town redevelopment - identifying the opportunities and constraints within a given area. These documents can then be used as the basis for funding bids to make specific interventions as part of a regeneration programme, as well as providing guidance for those making planning applications.
Information and guidance on Business Improvement Districts: BIDs
In October 2013 government set up a £500,000 loan fund to help communities who wish to create a Business Improvement District overcome prohibitive initial start-up costs.
Business Improvement Districts are business led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses. A Business Improvement District is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.
In Wiltshire Salisbury BID works to promote Salisbury's businesses and the city as a place to visit Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID).
In 2018 the government launched policy paper "Our Plan for the high street" which included £675 million for a Future High Streets Fund.
The aim of the Future High Streets Fund is to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves experience and ensures future sustainability. It will do this by providing co-funding to successful applicants to support transformative and structural changes to overcome challenges in their area.
On 26 August 2019, the Prime Minister confirmed that Round 1 of the Future High Streets Fund had been expanded to 50 more areas which included Trowbridge as well as Salisbury. Both places progressed to the second phase of the Future High Streets Fund and received £150,000 to support the development of detailed project proposals that can be submitted for capital funding.
These Business Cases were submitted in August 2020 and reviewed by MHCLG. Wiltshire Council was successful with their bids for the Future High Street Fund.
In 2020 Wiltshire Council was provisionally awarded £16,347,056 worth of funding; this funding was confirmed in 2021. The investment will be used in Trowbridge towards:
- renovating the Town Hall and adjacent Market Chambers to become once again a vibrant hub of activity, breathing new life into our High Street
- improving accessibility, connectivity and wayfinding of the town centre
- offering grants to businesses to encourage the longer-term occupation of vacant retail premises, creating a more diverse offer in the town centre
- enhancements to the River Biss bank to enable safer pedestrian access to the river front and under the Town Bridge.
This range of projects is aimed at transforming the town centre, attracting visitors and businesses to the area, providing an economic boost to the local economy and protecting local jobs.
In 2020 Wiltshire Council was provisionally awarded £9,355,731 worth of funding; this funding was confirmed in 2021. The investment will be used in Salisbury towards:
- Salisbury Station Forecourt - redesigning the station forecourt making it more attractive and accessible for visitors and residents
- Fisherton Gateway - improvements to the road network and public spaces along Fisherton Street
- Heritage Living - redeveloping a vacant listed building and creating apartments in unoccupied spaces above shops
These projects aim to reinvigorate the city centre by ensuring a greater experience on the high street for residents and visitors to encourage them to keep coming back, supporting business growth and enhancing the city's reputation as a destination of choice for tourists.