Councils across England have shared £56m of Euro funding to support the return to high streets from the pandemic. This funding is called the “Welcome Back Fund” and Brentwood received around £60,000 from which Ingatestone & Fryerning enjoyed the following:
Anglo European School Mural Project
‘Beautification activities’ was a criteria for accessing the Welcome Back Fund, and for the parish, a legacy from an educational project.
During 2020-22 the village community was living through the pandemic. The development of a mural became a story about community cohesion working with local children and the school, using art as a vehicle for unity and bringing people back to the High Street.
A local artist was commissioned to work with the student's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Board, to learn new technical art skills to apply to the mural in the bus shelter as well as their school canteen.
Anoushka and Yana members of the board said at the unveiling in December:
"In choosing figures to represent, in the canteen, and an icon for the village community, students applied their learning about each other's identity and differences. This is an essential part of not only our self-development, but our development as a school community."
The first artisan market which was funded through the Welcome Back Fund took place at the Community Centre was held in November 2021. The event was a success with over 1,100 people attending which was beneficial to both the market and the surrounding High Street shops.
The next market will be held at the Community Centre on Saturday 16 March 10am-4pm.
The Welcome Back Fund enabled us to appoint a practice of architects and heritage consultants to produce a report assessing the appearance of the Ingatestone High Street Conservation Area and with a view to commissioning or encouraging enhancements and to facilitate funding applications.
The report was completed in November 2021, and is under consideration by the parish council. A reference group is to be established to consider the recommendations and take them forward for implementation following further consultation with the residents and businesses.