Extra cash boost for district’s high streets

THE council has been handed a �100,000 cash boost which could be used to encourage new businesses to set up in the district’s high streets.

North Somerset was one of only five areas across the South West to have been awarded the Government grants which will be used to rejuvenate the area’s principal shopping areas.

The grant will be added to the �100,000 North Somerset Council was handed two weeks ago following a high street review by television shopping guru Mary Portas.

The direction from central Government is that some of the funding is used to provide business rate relief for new businesses start-ups in currently vacant shops.

North Somerset has been encouraged by Government to match the grant, and the authority is currently considering dedicating �100,000 towards it.


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The authority may also launch a business start up package to help businesses deal with matters such as business and financial planning, marketing, legal and security.

In Weston the grant money is likely to be implemented alongside the Business Improvement District (BID) scheme which was recently voted in by town centre businesses.

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Liberal Democrat councillor Mike Bell, who represents Weston town centre, said: “I will be pressing hard for the lion share of this funding to be spent in Weston to help our town centre.

“In particular, I would like to see more help given to establish new businesses off High Street in places like Orchard Street and Meadow Street.

“These streets have been badly neglected over the years and need extra help to attract more independent traders to broaden our offer beyond the big names of the high street.”

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