In October 2019, Cabinet approved a package of measures with funding of £275,000 to progress the first phase of Opportunity Dorking.
The vision is to realise the town's commercial and cultural potential so that it has a sustainable future. This will involve meeting the needs of Dorking businesses, residents and visitors and making the most of Dorking's situation as an attractive historic market town set in a beautiful landscape.
Opportunity Dorking is an economic development and regeneration programme involving a range of projects that recognise the evolving role of high streets and town centres, namely the growing demand for 'experiential' retail and diversification of uses including residential, employment, leisure and food and beverage uses. Data gathering studies will be undertaken to build up a strong evidence base to inform decision making as well as supporting future grant funding applications for initiatives including public realm improvements. Redevelopment is a longer-term proposition, including a number of Council owned assets with potential to contribute to the vision.
Many of the work streams have cross-overs with other corporate priorities and service areas, including linkages with the Leisure and Tourism Strategy, Car Parking Strategy and Climate Change (there is an emphasis on smart transport solutions to counter traffic congestion and its impacts).
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