More people have volunteered to become part of a charity which has been set up to help regenerate Dover town centre.
LoveDover was launched last year to bring potentially empty buildings back into use, and Dover town councillors agreed to provide £350,000 funding to get the charity started.
The original trustees were Dover Mayor Cllr Neil Rix, Town Clerk Allison Burton and estate agent Simon Crowley, and an appeal was made for other people with appropriate skills to join them. Four more have now been appointed.
Anne Angell is a former academy Managing Director in London and Birmingham. Previously she was a National Director of Operations implementing UK multi million pound contracts.
Anne has also been an active member of the Institute of Directors and is currently a Vice-Chairman of Emmaus the International charity for homeless people. Anne brings commercial and board level experience to LoveDover.
“The regeneration of Dover town centre is essential for the prosperity and future growth of the town,” she said. “LoveDover addresses the issues of regeneration, employment, training and much-needed affordable housing.”
Former Mayor Cllr Sue Jones, who is the managing director of a community interest company, has retail, tourism and personnel experience.
“Our primary objective to bring premises back into local ownership will address key challenges in the town relating to shops and housing as well as diversity and sustainability in business,” she said. “We want to reverse the retail decline.”
John Lamoon has spent 40 years in the construction industry and is currently a construction site manager. A town councillor, he says he is looking forward to becoming involved in the charity's projects. “I share the board's vision to make Dover vibrant again.”
Retired journalist Graham Tutthill has been elected chairman of the board and says he is looking forward to working with the trustees to help improve the town centre.
“Having lived in Dover all my life, I am keen to become involved in an initiative which can make a real difference to the town,” he said. “There are a number of redevelopment and regeneration schemes taking place at the moment, and I think LoveDover can make a useful contribution to the town centre.
“The new trustees bring valuable experience which will complement the expertise which Neil, Allison and Simon have to offer.
“We have two other trustee applications to consider at our next meeting, but we are still looking for one or two more trustees who can bring appropriate skills to the charity, including a treasurer.”
Anyone who is interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org
for an application form.
The charity has already bought one building in the Market Square – Dickens Corner – which was due to close and was in danger of becoming empty. As a result, the café business is continuing on the ground floor at least until September, the first floor is being made available for community use, and plans are being considered for the future of the building.
Talks are now taking place with the owner of another building in the area and with an artisan who is interested in establishing a business in the town.
“These are exciting times and we hope everyone will support us and offer their encouragement,” said Graham.