Vale of White Horse District Council is currently looking for experienced freelance project co-ordinators to put forward proposals for two different roles, which are designed to promote the towns and make them more appealing to visitors and local people.
The Wantage and Grove co-ordinator and Faringdon town team administrator, both of whom will be operating under a 12 month contract, will be required to work with the district, town and parish councils, and the chamber of commerce, through the respective town joint economic forums, to deliver a range of projects funded from the High Street Innovation Fund.
The co-ordinators will be responsible for promoting the town to visitors, improving the appearance of empty shops, delivering tourism and high street projects, loyalty card administration and producing town maps, and in Faringdon, extending the hanging basket displays.
It is anticipated that the contracts for both roles will commence in January.
For more information please see Faringdon Co-ordinator proposal (270.0 KB)
Faringdon is the Vale's smallest market town. The population was 6,187 at the time of the 2001 Census and recent population estimates released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for Faringdon and the Coxwells are 7,8,39 in 2009. Its attractive landscape setting on the limestone ridge overlooking the Thames Valley, its period market hall and town houses give it the ambience of a quintessential English market town. From afar the town is dominated by Folly Hill and its iconic tower. The A420 bypasses the town.
Faringdon acts as the local service centre for the town and surrounding villages and has a good range of local shops and services. It has one infant and one junior school, a private prep school (Ferndale), a secondary school, a health centre, a swimming pool, a leisure centre, a library and three hotels. Faringdon town centre accommodates a range of mostly independent shops and enjoys very low levels of retail vacancy. According to the council’s retail vacancy survey, under three per cent of commercial units in Faringdon town centre were vacant in September 2011. This is significantly below the national average (12 – 15 per cent).
The existing Local Plan has allocated land for some 400 houses and a new business centre between the town and the bypass. The housing development is now underway and outdoor leisure facilities at Jaspers Hill including a new cricket pavilion, cricket and rugby pitches and a skatepark are now complete. As part of the draft core strategy there are proposals for an additional 400 homes, 4 ha of employment land and a primary school south of Park Road. A key challenge will be to continue to maintain the vitality and historic character of the town and its centre, and ensure that future development supports the social and economic well-being of the town and its residents. Faringdon will continue as a small but important centre serving the western part of the Vale. The Vale Council anticipate the Core Strategy will be published 2012.
Faringdon has a very active business community supported by the Faringdon Chamber of Commerce, the town Council and the District Council. Most of the business activity is located in the town centre, Park Road Industrial Estate, Wicklesham Business Centre and Faringdon Business Centre. The towns visitors benefit from 2 hours free car parking in the Gloucester Street and Southampton Street car parks. The Joint Economic Forum (which includes representation from the Town Council, District Council and Chamber of Commerce) meet quarterly and support a range of initiatives to boost economic vitality including craft fairs and a forthcoming loyalty card scheme.
There is a wide range of retail and office space in the town centre and Faringdon Business Centre caters for start-up businesses. Just outside the town, Wicklesham Commercial Properties offers character offices converted from 13th century barns ranging in size from a single desk to 415 sq. m. It is well suited to small and medium sized businesses. There is also employment land available at the junction between Park Road and the A420, also known as the 4&20 Business Park.
The largest businesses in the town include Signal Ambitech, Sudbury House Hotel, and the Bray Group (Solport). Businesses with their headquarters in Faringdon include Bordengate Insurance, WCA Environment Group and www.rogersgardenstone.co.uk
. Most businesses in the town are small, employing less than 10 people.
There is a strong retail offer, with around 37 retailers in the towns, mainly independents, including a florist, coffee shops, a DIY shop, a bridal shop, gift shops, hairdressers and a sweetshop. There is one supermarket, Budgens, which is also one of the big employers in the towns. Recorded retail vacancy rates in 2011 were lower than the national average. The Faringdon Loyalty Card
was launched in 2012 and is available from local stores.
For more information on the existing retail offer visit www.finditinfaringdon.co.uk
. Businesses are supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Town and District Councils who are introducing schemes such as the Faringdon Loyalty Card. There is free car parking for two hours in all of the Council’s car parks.