MARK SUPPORTS STOCKPORT’S BID FOR PORTAS TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION PROJECT CASH

March 13, 2012 3:14 PM
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg alongside Council Leader Dave Goddard, Cheadle MP Mark Hunter and Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg alongside Council Leader Dave Goddard, Cheadle MP Mark Hunter and Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter has welcomed Stockport's bid to pilot a new town centre regeneration project launched by the Coalition Government, which allocates funding to help local councils invest in reinvigorating their High Streets.

High Streets across the UK have been in decline for many years now, largely down to the rise of internet shopping and the 2008 recession. The Coalition Government commissioned leading retail marketing consultant, Mary Portas, to conduct a review of how this worrying trend can be reversed, and what measures can be introduced to improve footfall in town centres across the country.

In responding to the "Portas Review", a new £1m pot of cash has been put in place to go to 12 local authorities across the country, to become a "Portas Pilot" and receive key funding to help boost the town centre.

If successful, the extra cash will go towards a range of initiatives, potentially including, incentives for new occupiers, improved information about the town centre offer, and a new programme to make people feel more welcome and safer in the town centre. The money would also be aimed at making it easier to set up and run new businesses in the area.

Commenting, Mark said:

"I am absolutely delighted to see that Stockport Council is applying for this extra money to help business in Stockport and reinvigorate our Town Centre.

"The number of empty shops in centres across the country is deeply concerning and, although footfall has improved quite a bit in Stockport since Primark has opened, it is vital the Council uses all the available resources to help local businesses through these tough times.

"I fully back Stockport's bid to become a 'Portas Pilot' and hope to be able to send my congratulations in the near future!"

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