Sunday, 10 June 2012

Thousands of Pounds To Regenerate Wolverhampton

The money should help to regenerate Wolves city centre.

By Ben Aulakh

A West Midlands city which was recently voted the fifth worst place to live in the country is set to receive £100, 000 of government money to rejuvenate its high street.

Wolverhampton was given the unfortunate tag in a recent Lonely Planet guide write up, however the city has been chosen as 12 places across the UK to benefit from the cash injection.

The ‘Portas Pilots’, named after high street guru Mary Portas, will combine the money with ideas from the entrepreneur to resuscitate the city, which has been particularly hard-hit by the recession.

A spokesperson for Wolverhampton City Council said, “The pilots provide an opportunity for local partnerships to develop and share knowledge about the effectiveness of various options for high street improvement.

“The scheme lays down a challenge for local partners to re-imagine their town centres and high streets.”

“It should ensure they offer something new and different that neither out-of-town shopping centre’s nor the internet can match, with the creative use of public spaces and a vibrant evening economy.”

The city beat local rivals West Bromwich, Dudley, Bearwood, and Walsall and was one of just a dozen places to benefit out of a total of 370 who applied from across the UK.

Wolverhampton is currently ranked the fifth highest in the country for empty shop premises, with many closed premises re-opening as part-time charity stores.

The funding will be split between £30, 000 for places to trade, £25, 000 on support for existing traders, £20, 000 on competition and entrepreneurial support, £15, 000 on marketing and £10, 000 to improve nightlife.

Council Partners WV one have been tasked with distributing the new funding; the organisations Chief Executive Peter Cutchie says the funding is vitally important for the city.

“Nearly 30 million people visit the city centre each year for shopping, leisure, entertainment and business and we want them to stay and do more.

“This injection will enable businesses to support the city centre through more events, city centre hosts or rangers and better marketing to attract footfall.”

Photograph by Statsfan at wikimediacommons.

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