Gedling Borough Council Local Democracy News Politics

Gedling Borough Council handed out more than £25m to struggling local businesses during Covid pandemic

Michael Payne
PICTURED: Councillor Michael Payne

Gedling Borough Council says it has distributed around £25.1 million to support local businesses facing financial difficulties during the pandemic.

The local authority discussed its achievements but also its difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic at a cabinet meeting held on Thursday, May 8.

It said that out of 96 actions it had included in its plan it has managed to complete 90 of them over the last year.

The council said construction work had started this year to transform the long-awaited Arnold Market Place as well as Carlton Square improvement scheme.

A ‘landmark’ market building will be built between the Methodist Church and King George V park in Arnold and will comprise of units designed for small and independent businesses.

A new public space will be built near the new building which will retain the 24 market stalls with an opening date of Spring 2022.

A memorial stone dedicated to those residents who have tragically lost their lives due to Covid was also unveiled.

But concerns in missing targets over the amount of new homes built in the area and getting people out of temporary accommodation were addressed.

The council said additional new homes for this year was 310, which was lower than the 480 anticipated.

Netherfield high street covid restrictions
The Council say they handed out over £25m during the pandemic (PHOTO: Neil Slack Photography)

Currently people also remain in temporary accommodation for 20.9 weeks against a target of 15 weeks, with the department still “experiencing high numbers of households in priority need presenting as homeless”.

The cabinet heard how six large families, with three plus children, were living in temporary two bedroom flats/three bedroom houses. This has now reduced to four families.

The report states: “Unfortunately, the number of two or three bedroom social housing becoming available has declined and it is not proportionate to the demand for permanent housing, meaning families continue to be placed in temporary accommodation.

“However, better news is that the house construction market has now restarted, meaning the numbers of affordable properties in Gedling will start to increase again during 2021/22.”

Councillor Michael Payne, deputy leader of the council, told the meeting: “I think if you look – we have faced the worse public health crisis since World War II and to get a record sheet like the one we have heard is pretty remarkable.

“The areas of concern are areas of concern but can be understood within the wider context. We know house building has been put on hold early on in the pandemic.

“I think what should not be lost is that the borough continues to be a place that has brilliant green infrastructure. People’s parks and town centres will have been their world because they have not been able to travel any further.”