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Wiltshire Towns Programme

Wiltshire Council allocated £1M a year between 2021-2025 (£4M in total) to support activity on the high street through the Wiltshire Towns Programme, providing meaningful and transformational support to grow businesses, support employment and transform Wiltshire's high streets to meet the needs of local communities.

The Council's business plan enshrines our commitment to creating and supporting vibrant town centres and well-connected communities. The Wiltshire Towns Programme seeks to create and sustain a thriving economy for high street businesses across the county, which will contribute to a resilient society that is driven and supported by empowered people.

Why the Wiltshire Towns Programme was established

Historically Wiltshire's town centres have been mostly retail provision and so have become vulnerable due to changing consumer habits, such as opportunities for online shopping and out of town retail. This vulnerability has been intensified by the economic shock of Covid-19.

Retail supports approximately 20,000 jobs in Wiltshire, this does not include services, leisure (including food and drink), or businesses which are located on the high street and are also affected.

Considering these challenges and recognising the contribution of high street businesses to Wiltshire's economy, a programme of funding and support was established in 2021 and will continue until 2025.

Wiltshire Towns Programme Locations

Amesbury, Bradford on Avon, Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Cricklade, Devizes, Downton, Ludgershall, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Melksham, Mere, Pewsey, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Tidworth, Tisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury and Wilton.

Delivery of the Wiltshire Towns Programme

Activity Generation Grants

To facilitate the economic recovery of the High Streets in Wiltshire, the Activity Generation Programme is an offer available to 22 local councils in Wiltshire identified as eligible for funding and support. The aim of the programme is to create activity on Wiltshire's High Streets - by increasing capacity and encouraging people back to the High Street. 

Business Support

The Business Support programme will respond to the Cost of Doing Business challenges, the need to transition to Net Zero and the Cost of Energy. The programme will seek to provide practical advice to high street businesses in addressing their energy costs and support to make the necessary changes. This scheme is anticipated to launch in Spring 2024.

Culture and Arts development

Recognising the positive impact on the local economy, a strategic approach will be taken to maximise the opportunities arising from culture and arts development in the county.

Explore Wiltshire App

The Explore Wiltshire app has been created by Wiltshire Council in collaboration with town and parish councils, History Centre, museums and Bristol-based app developer Calvium, on the Place Experience Platform which supports the local and visitor economy.

The app aims to help you discover more about our wonderful historic landscapes, beautiful market towns, villages and the cathedral city of Salisbury. It features heritage trails and information about historical landmarks, cultural sites and significant events that have helped to shape Wiltshire's landscape. The free, easy to use location-aware app, also includes historic photos, engravings and information from the archives of the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre and local museums.

The app has initially launched featuring information and trails for Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Cricklade, Devizes, Marlborough, Pewsey, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Warminster, plus a link to the Explore Malmesbury webpage. This replaces the Salisbury Trails app that launched in 2020. We will be adding more locations so please check back if the place you want to visit isn't there.

You can listen to an introduction by TV's Time Team and Wessex Archaeology's Phil Harding, and Phil has also introduced all the towns that you will find featured on the app.

Master-planning and pipeline development

This work seeks to work with Town Councils to develop shared town visions and prepare schemes for public funding applications, such as for example,  suitable schemes identified in neighbourhood plans, town centre visions or masterplans.

Vibrant Wiltshire grants

Wiltshire Council created the Vibrant Wiltshire grants programme through the Wiltshire Towns Programme to improve the vibrancy of Wiltshire's town centres and high streets. The programme looks to bring vacant commercial spaces in town centres throughout the county 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. You can find out more here Vibrant Wiltshire vacant unit grants

Explore Wiltshire Events Web App

The Explore Wiltshire Events web app is available via (opens new window)  has been developed in with Bristol-based app developer Calvium, on the Place Experience Platform.

Explore Wiltshire Events was established to provide a free-to-access and ad-free single point of information to find out about attractions, events and activities across Wiltshire's arts, culture, leisure and tourism sectors. Listings are created by trusted partners and can be filtered by location, date and theme, allowing event organisers to reach a larger population, and helping residents and visitors plan their leisure time in Wiltshire.

To find out more about eligibility to become a trusted partner, please see the document Explore Wiltshire Events Content Guidance with Trusted Partner Criteria and Declaration found in the downloads section of this page, alternatively you can contact us via (opens new window) to request the document, or to report any issues encountered using the Explore Wiltshire Events web app.

Explore Wiltshire Events Content Guidance and Trusted Partner Declaration forms for completion and submission, after reading the guidance document

Explore Wiltshire Events Guidance V1 May 2024 (PDF) [305KB] (opens new window)   Guidance Document (.pdf)

Explore Wiltshire Events Declaration V1 May 2024 (Word doc) [45KB] (opens new window)   Declaration Form to complete and submit (.docx)

Explore Wiltshire Events Declaration V1 May 2024 (OpenDocument text format) [11KB] (opens new window)   Declaration Form to complete and submit (.odt)

Wiltshire Marque

This project is currently in development, in consultation with existing offers, food and drink suppliers and business support providers. It is envisaged that the marque will create a Wiltshire brand identity, support the marketing of Wiltshire produce and provide support to local producers.


Wiltshire Towns Programme Enquiries: (opens new window)  

Explore Wiltshire App: (opens new window)

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