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Minutes of meeting, 6th August 2014


September 1, 2014 by oswestrychamberoftrade

Date:     Wednesday 6th August 2014
Venue:   Wynnstay, Oswestry
Heather Noble, Chair opened the meeting;
Apologies: Neil Jenkins, Twelve Green Bottles and Howard Ellett, St James’ Place.

Portas Money Update (£10,000)
Heather Noble updated members with regard to the above and outcomes from the July open meeting where best use of funds had been discussed.
She expressed disappointment that despite there being 37 attendees at that meeting (16 members/21 visitors) only 10 people had filled out the ideas forms circulated at that meeting.
Most popular ideas emerging from the discussions and completed forms were as follows:
Purchase of a demountable stage which could be used by various groups in and around Oswestry at affordable rates.
The purchase and hanging of festival bunting which would serve to create a buzz and encourage people to explore the wider reaches of the town centre.

Both ideas are to be discussed in a meeting on the 7th of August, with David Preston, Town Clerk, Steve Haworth of Footfall and Steve White, Community Enablement Officer for Shropshire County Council.
Also a lot of practicalities need to be discussed before we can go ahead and purchase a stage, things like logistics, bookings, storage, etc.

Paul Wiseman proposed if the stage option was deemed too large a challenge that consideration could be given to free parking as an alternative. This suggestion was noted and would remain amongst the ‘alternative options’ if neither stage nor bunting were achievable aims.

Jay Moore of Fusion Arts offered to help out with the booking of the stage.

Craig Marston enquired about an article in the Oswestry and Border Chronicle where it mentioned additional funding for the town. Martin Anderson explained there is more money available for Capital Projects and that normally it would be the Joint Economic  Board who would decide best use of these funds in terms of revitalising the town.

Smithfield money (£2 to £5 Million)
This is money generated as part of the out of town development and is to be used to alleviate any negative impact of the development on the town centre as a whole. Initially set at £2 Million, more money will come at a later stage.
The Chamber would like to have a say in how we would like the money spend. It is important to brainstorm about this as with a supermarket on the outskirts of town we need to keep the town alive.

HN facilitated a discussion with regard to how members would like to see the monies used.

Ideas put forward included:
Investment in art for the town to attract people to come and see it (think Poppy’s flowing out of the Tower in London idea).
Development of town gateways and roads into Oswestry to make the town appear more attractive and to encourage footfall into the town as a whole.
A Town Centre Manager responsible, accountable and with the  authority to deal with and co-ordinate all of the groups, communities and activities in town.

Fusion Arts Oswestry
Jay Moore, director of Fusion Arts Oswestry was introduced by Heather Noble. Fusion Arts is a Community Interest Company where all sorts of voluntary work is done around; Arts, Music lessons, recording space, space to practise, film making, etc.

Fusion Arts is setting up a radio station (digital) which will feature local bands, local dj’s, local business can advertise their events on there, etc.

More information can be found on their website: or you can find them on Twitter: @FusionArtsOs

Any Other Business
There are rumours that Aldi is opening a new store next to the Smithfield site, what is happening. HN to find out more.

Clive Knowles, British Ironwork Centre has a gazebo that is available for people to use to promote Oswestry, if you would like to use it, contact Clive Knowles.

Cambrian Railways have an important meeting coming up about the next phase for the railway and potentially opening up all the   way to Gobowen, crossing the A5. The Chamber has sent a letter supporting their aims to further explore viability.

Last but not least the Chamber would like to congratulate GWR fasteners for winning the best new business award at the Shropshire Business Awards

Date of next meeting
3rd September 2014 in the Wynnstay at 6pm.

Apologies please to Heather Noble, Chair.
T: 01691 700800 or email:


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