Businesses can bid for high street cash
RUN-down high streets across North Somerset are to benefit from a £100,000 Government windfall.
The council has been awarded the money as part of an initiative to revitalise high streets and tackle the challenge of empty retail properties.
Businesses have until March 11 to apply for a slice of the money from the High Street Innovation Fund.
The cash was made available following a review by Mary Portas in 2011 into the state of the country's high streets and town centres.
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The review set out a vision that high streets should become multi-functional and social places, "where shopping is just one small part of a rich mix of activities".
The report also said high streets should "be ready to experiment, try new things, take risks and become destinations again". Cash from the special fund will be available across North Somerset for start-ups, existing businesses and community organisations which have creative and innovative ideas to improve their businesses and the vitality and viability of their town.
Small grants, up to a maximum of £3,000, are available for start-ups and existing businesses.
For those that have a greater capacity to deliver a more sizeable project, grants up to £10,000 may be awarded.
North Somerset Council executive member for economic development, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, said: "This funding is a great opportunity for businesses and communities to either start up, experiment with a different way of doing business, or use a vacant retail premises for a new and alternative use."
Visit the website www.in north.co.uk/funding or ring 01934 426341 or e-mail business@n-somerset. gov.uk. The deadline for applications is March 11.