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Plans announced to help reduce empty premises in Crewe town centre


Cheshire East Council has announced plans for a new grant scheme aimed at reducing the number of empty premises in Crewe town centre.

‘Repurposing our high streets’ is part of a package of projects being supported by the government’s Towns Fund and Crewe’s allocation of up to £22.9m of funding.

Led by Cheshire East Council and overseen by Crewe Town Board, the project will include a grant scheme for businesses that take on vacant commercial premises in the town centre, as well as funding to provide tailored business support and to carry out improvements to the appearance of the ‘shop windows’ of vacant premises.

As well as reducing the number of empty commercial premises, the scheme will help to improve the overall look of the town centre, increase footfall, create new jobs, and strengthen the mix of businesses.

The project, details of which were discussed by the council’s Economy and Growth Committee yesterday (17 January), is set to launch within the next few weeks.

Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “Like many town centres across the country, Crewe town centre continues to be impacted by a number of factors, including increased competition from online shopping and the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.

“This project responds to these challenges and in developing our plans, our work has included consulting with local property owners and agents, examining good practice from elsewhere, and seeking specialist expertise from an independent expert in tackling the issue of empty shops, so that we can deliver the best possible outcomes.

“It is expected that this project will support more than 50 businesses through grants and business support, as well as support the creation of more than 60 jobs.

“It will also complement a wider programme of projects, initiatives, and activities already underway, or planned, in other parts of the town centre, and form a key part of thecomprehensive programme of regeneration.

“While we are not quite ready to open the scheme up to applications, we expect to do this within the next few weeks and look forward to sharing further information.”

Those wishing to register an early interest in the scheme can do so by emailing: ROHS@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Doug Kinsman, chair of Crewe Town Board, said: “This is a fantastic project and one thatwill not only have direct benefits for the grant recipients and help them to start or grow their business, but will make a positive impact on the vibrancy of the town centre andsupport the local economy.”

To find out more about the Crewe Towns Fund projects, visit: weareallcrewe.co.uk





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