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Work continues at pace to support Midhurst

Work is continuing at pace to support businesses and the community in Midhurst following the fire in North Street.

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Senior officers from Chichester District Council have this week met with Government officials to lobby them for funding support for Midhurst businesses following the fire in North Street.

Although no official funding sources are currently available, Government officials have said that they will look into this further and come back to the council.

Over 60 businesses have already applied to Chichester District Council's £200,000 grant fund to assist Midhurst town centre businesses who are reliant on footfall and have seen a negative impact on their businesses since the A286 North Street has been closed to vehicles. Overall, Chichester District Council has set aside £300,000 and Midhurst Town Council has promised £5,000 to support the businesses and help get the town back on its feet.

In addition to this, community groups and businesses will be able to apply to the future rounds of grant funding from UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund.

The council has also seconded a member of its Economic Development Team to support the businesses for the two months following the fire. To date, the officer has been in contact with over 100 businesses offering support and guidance. He is also working with a group of businesses to help deliver a recovery plan. Promotional plans to encourage people to visit and shop in the town have already started, with key activities due in the coming weeks.

As previously announced, the South Downs National Park Authority is using its emergency powers to break the deadlock and get the listed buildings secured, enabling the road to be opened to vehicles. Work continues at pace to choose a contractor to shore up the buildings on North Street in Midhurst.

The site visits with potential contractors have now been completed and the tender for the work went out yesterday. The priority is to get the work completed as soon as possible and the South Downs National Park Authority will provide a progress update in the next week.

All of the agencies involved, and the owners of the buildings affected, are committed to doing everything they can to get the road reopened to vehicles as soon as possible and helping Midhurst to recover from this dreadful incident.

The Multi-Agency Recovery Group consists of Chichester District Council, South Downs National Park Authority, West Sussex County Council, and Midhurst Town Council.

For the latest updates, please refer to our latest news page where people can also find a list of , which are being regularly updated. This also explains the role of each agency involved in the recovery process.

Date of Release: 28 April 2023
Reference: 4235