Millions for town?
EXMOUTH is poised to receive a �5.2 million cash injection over three years district councillors were last night set to rubberstamp funds that would invigorate the town's economy. At a meeting of East Devon District Council, members poured over the fin
EXMOUTH is poised to receive a �5.2 million cash injection over three years - district councillors were last night set to rubberstamp funds that would invigorate the town's economy.At a meeting of East Devon District Council, members poured over the final details of recommendations by finance chiefs to spend �5.248 million on two Exmouth projects up to 2012.The proposals were part of the final revenue and capital estimates report - drawn up annually to determine capital expenditure, council tax and borrowing for the year ahead.And top of the 'shopping list' was �4.25 million for a three-storey car park on the existing London Inn site - a project EDDC believes would support town centre trade by encouraging shoppers to stay longer.The car park would double the size of the existing 150-space facility and swell council coffers - revenue from parking would more than double from �255,000 to �570,000 a year. A further �1 million has been earmarked for proposals to regenerate The Strand, recently the subject of a public consultation.Simon Davey, EDDC's head of finance, said in the report: "An initial sum [for the car park] is required of �248,000 [�148,000 for 2009/10 and �100,000 the following year] to procure specialist advice [for a feasibility study]."The remaining �4m is an initial estimate for the construction of a three-storey car park."Exmouth's deputy mayor, regeneration committee member and EDDC's Exmouth Champion, Councillor Darryl Nicholas, said: "These projects will really strengthen and improve Exmouth town centre. "They would not only support our current traders, but will create an improved physical environment and increased parking capacity - drawing in the broader range of retail that so many residents have requested. "Investing in infrastructure is an absolutely crucial part of building confidence and making Exmouth well placed to attract additional high-quality investment when the economy eventually begins to improve. "There are many pressures on budgets and these will be debated robustly - a debate that I hope will be positive in realising we cannot shirk the difficult decisions if we are to begin the process of Exmouth achieving its full potential.