More than £95,000 has been given to traders in Helston to make 2013 the year of change in the town.

The town centre manager’s office will get two apprentices to help back up the projects that will be led by the Helston Business Improvement Partnership and Town Team.

These will include improving the appearance of shop fronts, introducing a parking initiative and placing a defibrillator in the town centre in case of emergency, with the money to be spent over the next 12 months.

Town centre manager Jonathan Birkett said: “I’m so proud of them [partnership members]. The effort and work that has gone in to this is phenomenal – I’ve never seen it before at this level.

“It’s taken nine months to get to this place. The work starts now. It’s about getting things done. The idea is the businesses are taking responsibility.”

The money is a share of the section 106 funding given to the town by the Tesco and Sainsbury’s supermarkets, as a condition of them building new stores in Helston.

At a meeting shortly before Christmas the town council agreed to transfer a large chunk of the money set aside for town management projects, into the control of the business partnership set up by traders.

Mr Birkett said this was the first time in Helston’s history at the town council had supported handing money to a not-for-profit company and described it as “a massive evolution.”

In an email to all members following the decision, he said: “This is a massive achievement for HBIP (Helston Business Improvement Partnership), our Town Team and our business community.

“We must also credit the town council with having the faith in our organisation and the work we have all put in to get to this point.

“This symbolises how far we have come this year and is a great example of the public sector and private sector working in tandem for the good of our town and community. I have every confidence that we will make this opportunity count.”

Speaking to the Packet, chairman of the “marketing and aesthetics” group Rob Webb described taking control of the money as “incredibly exciting” for Helston and the business improvement partnership.

He added: “Now the hard work really starts in 2013, to start delivering the projects.”

HBIP chairman Andy Perry thanked the project groups and Town Team for their “amazing job” and “level of professionalism,” as well as the town council for having the “same vision.”

He said: “I think the things that go forward will leave this town in good standing for the future.”

See how the money will be spent in this week's Helston Packet