Developers cash to be spent on new promotional boards in Ottery

Ottery's Sainsbury's supermarket. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 5273-41-11AW.

Ottery's Sainsbury's supermarket. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 5273-41-11AW. - Credit: Archant

New signs are set to be installed to promote businesses after calls to spend developer’s cash before the end of March.

Ottery Town Council met this week and agreed in principle to spend £5,810 from its pot of section 106 money – a levy paid by developers - on new signs at Sainsbury’s and Land of Canaan.

Back in December, councillors were told time was running out to spend remaining money given to the town following the completion of Sainsbury’s in Hind Street.

The biggest share of the money has to be spent at the supermarket on tourist information signs and must be spent by the end of March.

The business forum proposed at the December meeting to revamp the current board at Sainsbury’s, install a new board with lighting and if possible a new cabinet at the Land of Canaan.

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Forum member Mark Perkins urged councillors to support the plans as the boards would be ‘bright and vibrant’ and fitted the criteria.

Councillors had questioned whether the board should also act as a display board for groups to put up their posters.

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Mr Perkins said: “We have less than two months now to get the job done. The perception within the business forum is the signboards are not used for that [display board] now. No-one goes and looks at them for that purpose.

“We must spend this money. If we do not spend it, it will be gone. The town’s businesses really would like everyone to know where they are and I think that is your responsibility to promote the town’s businesses. I can see no valid reason why you not want to do that?”

He was backed by Councillor Paul Carter who said the council should encourage the upgrade.

Cllr Carter said: “An update is essential and if there is money there to do that, I think we should encourage the upgrading and stretch down as far as we can. ”

Councillor Roger Giles said the deadline to spend and put up the signs was coming up ‘like an express train’.

He said: “It benefits the community or part of it. We are going to benefit nobody if there is no money left.”

The council voted to support the plans and work with the forum to clarify the boards’ positioning and do the work.

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