“Regeneration is not just about buildings. In order to lift the heart of a place it must involve its people and provide opportunities, aspiration and a sense of community” – Town Mayor of Dover, Councillor Gordon Cowan.
And in a special Extraordinary meeting Councillors backed the Mayor to deliver on three big projects focusing on improving everyday quality of life for the majority of Dovorians.
- A £60,000 grant will go to not-for-profit organisation Go Dubris to support the development of the Co-Innovation Centre in new premises providing low cost start-up space for new small businesses. There ae already 10 new businesses trading in Dover Town Centre in shops that would otherwise be empty because of the start given in the Co-Innovation hub. The Town Council’s grant will secure the future for 5 years and play a vital part in the regeneration of our High Street.
- The Council backed efforts to save and improve the Roundhouse theatre as a community performing arts space in the Town. Since 2005 the Roundhouse has given our young people especially a chance to perform, building confidence and laying foundations for their future well-being. Plans by Kent County Council to convert the building to offices would leave Dover as the only local town without a dedicated community performance space. Dover has enough empty office space to meet any need – but it has only got one theatre! The Roundhouse has already been officially listed as an Asset of Community Value and a petition to retain it has already attracted huge local support.
- Options for a new Youth Café with toilets open to the public in the Town Centre are being explored. Young people need somewhere warm and safe to go where they can socialise – and everyone one of us needs the loo now and again!
In the past 2 years the Council has focused support on those suffering food poverty, homelessness and lack of access to the internet supporting Dover Outreach, Dover Food Pantry, and providing food hampers and laptops for households to ensure children could continue to access school lessons at home.
Now in 2022 – and just as important – the Council resolved to move forward with these new and ambitious projects to making sure that Dovorians have the community infrastructure and facilities they need and deserve.