Enhancing Dover’s cultural and creative offer and better connecting the high street and waterfront lie at the heart of a successful £3.2m bid by Dover District Council (DDC) to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.
Together with a £1.7m commitment from DDC’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund, the £4.9m plans will deliver two key projects designed to increase footfall and local spending on the high street.
The plans complement existing projects to rejuvenate Dover town centre, including the £9.1m Lottery funded restoration of the Grade I Listed Maison Dieu and a £2.95m Coastal Community Fund project to reinvent the Market Square.
Bench Street creative space
At the heart of the latest plans is a £2.9m project to comprehensively redevelop part of Bench Street. Providing a key thoroughfare between the waterfront and town centre, a new creative space will form part of a mixed-use development that will also include seven residential units.
Reimaging the Townwall Street/A20 Subway
A £2.0m reimagining of the subway under the A20 on Townwall Street will encourage greater movement of people between the town centre, waterfront and cruise terminals, and link with the £250m Dover Western Docks redevelopment, including the new marina.
Together with the proposed Creative Centre at Bench Street this will enhance the offer of the lower high street and create a feature for the area.
Roger Walton, DDC’s Strategic Director (Operations and Commercial), said: “Town centres have a key role to play as we come out of lockdown. This new funding helps us to deliver projects that will change public perceptions of Dover, from a place to pass-through to a destination people want to visit, stay and live with a vibrant mix of retail, leisure and cultural opportunities appealing to both residents and visitors alike.”