When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
TVBC to offer £1,000 to new independent shops
9:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in Romsey
Test Valley Borough Council could offer £1,000 grants to independent retailers in a bid to fill empty shop premises.
The council’s cabinet will consider a recommendation to introduce an independent retailer grant when it meets next Wednesday.
To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses will need to occupy ground floor premises in Romsey or Andover town centres, which have been vacant for at least one month.
The £1,000 grant would be funded from the New Homes Bonus, say the council. Successful retailers would receive £500 after three months and a further £500 after nine months of trading.
The grant would be backed up by a package of practical support including free advice to minimise utility and other bills, support from the Independent Retailers Association and discounted local radio advertising.
Although both Romsey and Andover town centre vacancy rates are below the national average, TVBC says encouraging more independent retailers will attract more shoppers and give the areas more character.
Peter Giddings, Economic Portfolio Holder said: “The initiative will complement the Council’s work to rejuvenate Andover town centre and support the Romsey Future project.
“Andover and Romsey town centres face an increasingly challenging economic climate. A competitive local economy is one of the Council’s four key aims. I hope Cabinet will back this grant which, along with the package of support and advice, should go some way to help new and existing independent retailers set up in our towns.”
If agreed, the retailer grant will be available from April and will be reviewed at the end of 12 months.