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Council consults on new vision for Rugby town centre

RESIDENTS and businesses have the chance to help shape the future of Rugby town centre.

The council has published a new Town Centre Vision - and now needs feedback from the public before drawing up a detailed strategy to support the delivery of a town centre fit for the future.

The vision aims to support the creation of a prosperous and attractive town centre which both complements and connects to the Elliots Field and Junction One retail parks on Leicester Road.

It outlines ambitions to increase the range of shops, leisure and entertainment venues in the town centre, while supporting the centre's current strong independent shopping sector and wide selection of food and drink establishments.

The vision also aims to build on the council's town centre enhancement programme for this year's Rugby World Cup, which has included new bins, public art works and - from September - the introduction of wi-fi, while promoting Rugby's heritage as the birthplace of the game.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for economy, development and culture, said: "Town centres across the country have faced significant challenges in recent years and the role of town centres has changed with the increasing popularity of online shopping and its impact on national retail chains' business strategies.

"Rugby town centre, like other centres, needs to change and adapt to meet these challenges, and our Town Centre Vision signals the start of the council's work to draw up a new strategy to support the delivery of a town centre fit for the future.

"However, we're just one of a number of key stakeholders who have an important role to play in reinvigorating the town centre and it's vital we work together in order to make the vision a reality.

"We have already discussed our vision with a number of stakeholders, including Rugby First, Warwickshire County Council and Rugby School, and the public consultation now opens up the discussion to all businesses and residents who want to play a part in shaping our strategy for a prosperous and vibrant town centre."

To support the public consultation, the council has invited all town centre businesses to workshops at the BENN Hall to discuss the vision and contribute ideas for the final strategy.

The workshops take place from 6.30pm to 8pm on Wednesday 26 August and Wednesday 2 September.

Residents can download a copy of the Town Centre Vision from the council's website and pick up copies from reception at the Town Hall.

Comments on the Town Centre Vision can be emailed to localplan@rugby.gov.uk

The consultation launched on Monday 17 August and closes at 5pm on Monday 14 September.

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