Details of the S106 agreement for Waitrose in Malmesbury has been revealed after residents complained that the money had 'not been spent very transparently'.

After Aldi was granted planning permission for a new superstore in Malmesbury earlier this month subject to a S106 agreement, some residents questioned where the money goes.

An S106 agreement is the developers contribution to the local community.

Malmesbury resident Lisa Tweedie said: "I don't feel that the Waitrose S106 money has been spent very transparently.

"I think we should have a well publicised report explaining how it was spent, this would protect them from accusations of spending it unwisely"

The waitrose store was given the go ahead in May 2013 and opened its doors to customers in Malmesbury for the first time in August 2014.

The Malmesbury Town Team was set up in 2014 as a direct result of the decision to allow the Waitrose store development.

The team consists of a group of volunteers representing various Malmesbury bodies including the town council, residents association, Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire councillor and various individuals with retail commercial backgrounds.

The team have managed the funds allocated from the S106 agreement in relation to the town centre action plan implementation and in conjunction with Wiltshire Council.

So how has the money been spent so far?

The town team were created to promote trade in the town, encouraging residents and visitors alike to shop, eat and drink locally.

Following a survey of shopper's habits, they put a detailed action plan and programme of activities together to promote Malmesbury, its retailers, attractions, hospitality locations and businesses.

  • The team created a promotional brand identity for Malmesbury suitable for the immediate and long term digital and traditional marketing activities.
  • Discover Malmesbury was planned and built, an extensive website designed for use by the community, visitors and travel trade - The website includes downloadable maps, events, important historical features and stories and information on retailers, attractions and businesses.
  • The team have set up and managed a structured programme of social media platforms engagement posts, competitions and linked activities designed to inform, entice and direct locals and visitors to visit both the website and the town.
  • They place features and adverts online and in print media promoting the town.

This information is featured in widely recognised and distributed publications including Discover Britain, Visit England and the soon to be launched Great West Way consumer magazine where over 100,000 copies will be distributed at key attractions, airports, stations and other outlets in the UK and overseas.

They also promote through local publications.

  • A town guide was created, admired by many other towns. The guide is distributed up to 20,000 copies a year locally through retailers, businesses, attractions and to other town tourist information centres and hotel in a 30-mile radius, including Bath and Bristol.
  • They established the Friday market and funded stalls, with a 50 per cent grant from Wiltshire Council, and provided advertising and promotional support.
  • In partnership with the town council, supported three years of subsided two hours free parking at Station Yard.
  • They regularly provide information and promotional material for local events, such as The Boondocks Festival, the Eclipse Balloon Flight, Late Night Christmas Shopping, the Abbey lit up for World Pancreas Day, taking the lead on numerous activities in conjunction with the town council.
  • They are the delivery agent for the town's designate ambassador role and activities with the Great West Way, England’s newest touring route. As part of this, the town will be featured in a new rough guide book soon to be published and they recently hosted a visit of 11 international tour operators to the town in conjunction with many local attractions.

Are there any more plans in the future?

  • The creation of Virtual Malmesbury - The town team say this is a chance for people to experience Malmesbury now and then, encouraging residents and visitors to spend more time discovering and experiencing the fantastic history and facilities Malmesbury has to offer through exciting visual, augmented, written and oral information will be accessible from a number of locations around the town.
  • Malmesbury’s very own gift card gift will help promote local businesses and the aim is to lock in additional spend for participating businesses. The card will drive footfall to the town centre and stimulate additional economic activity.
  • Exciting plans to improve signage