THE drive to buy Priory Square in Studley to turn it into a village green has received a major £200,000 boost.
The cash comes from Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and will help pay for initial investigations and searches prior to any offer to purchase the land being made.
Studley and Sambourne district councillor Hazel Wright described the windfall as a ‘step forward’ but warned there was still a long way to go.
“I have to admit I was beginning to think it would never happen, but at least we have a beginning after 12 years,” she told the village’s parish council meeting on Tuesday.
“What this money does is work towards what we would like at the site, there will have to be a funding agreement between the district council and the LEP and then there will be a plan of action, but it’s a start.”
And she added she would be looking to Stratford to buy the land if and when an agreement is made.
“I know the financial situation at Stratford district council and believe me they can afford it. We are not talking about a hard up council, this is not a council in debt,” she told councillors.
However she said it was vital local residents worked on the project.
“There should be more involvement from local people than just leaving it to councillors from Stratford who by and large do not know where Studley is,” she said.
The land in question is part of the footprint of the original Co-op store and at one time carried a £1 million price tag.
However the Co-op itself stands on the site of the needle factory which burnt down in 1977 and the likelihood is the land in question is polluted and will need to be made safe.
The LEP money is in addition to the £90,000 financial support provided by the district council.