Shaftesbury Town Council may want to buy the former Budgens store. Do you agree with the proposal?
As yet, no decision has been made on what the property could be used for. There could be multiple uses. It’s a large site. It could be divided between leisure, retail space, community facilities, business units and affordable accommodation. There’s no guarantee that the bid will be successful. If it is accepted, ALL residents will be asked which use(s) would bring the greatest benefit to our community.
Who is behind the ‘Project Belle’ plan to buy the site?
Ten residents are advising the Town Council on how to enhance Shaftesbury’s economy. The Economic Development Advisory Committee’s (EDAC) members are not councillors. They’re independent thinkers who call on their business, property development and community experience in making recommendations to Council.
Why did ‘EDAC’ recommend buying the empty supermarket?
In June, when the Town Council asked for opinions on the cattle market sale, some residents were concerned that the empty store was wasted space and could become an eyesore. We were told how Frome and Sturminster Newton communities had worked together to transform empty spaces and energise their towns. ‘Project Belle’ is a community-driven response to your feedback.
Who will own and manage the site?
The community. If the Town Council’s bid succeeds, a not-for-profit company will oversee the site redevelopment and future management. Shaftesbury’s needs, rather than commercial developer interests, will direct this project. When annual running costs are met, surplus income will be retained for community benefit.
How much will this cost?
We can’t reveal how much the council intends to bid at this stage. We don’t want rival bidders to know! But the Council believes they can buy it without increasing the proportion of Council tax, or precept, that we pay.
Benefits of buying the Bell Street supermarket
-Creating affordable, new retail and business space
-Keeping our Town Centre vibrant
-Offering new business and leisure opportunities
-Locals direct and deliver the project
-Removing an eyesore and creating a great first impression for visitors
If the Council’s bid succeeds, we’ll ask you how you want the site to be used.