Mansfield is set to become one of the first UK town centres to receive extra support from big businesses in a nationwide scheme to help the high street.
The charity Business in the Community (BITC) has announced that Mansfield is one of the first 29 of 100 towns across the UK that will be supported through its Healthy High Streets campaign.
The initiative seeks to create 3,000 jobs, increase footfall by 10 per cent and reduce empty property units by 20 per cent over a three-year period in selected towns across the UK and through dedicated support from founding partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander.
Other towns include places such as Altrincham, Beeston, Chester, Great Yarmouth, Hull, Keighley, Lincoln and Stockport.
The application to be part of the scheme was led by Sarah Nelson, manager of Mansfield Business Improvement District, on behalf of the Town Team. and Mansfield has been partnered with Boots.
Sarah said: “We’re thrilled to be one of the first to benefit from this exciting scheme that sees us gain support from one of the country’s top businesses. I know a lot of businesses in the town centre are excited by this initiative.
“The application was well-received by BITC, and we were able to demonstrate that Mansfield had potential and that there already existed a strong ethos of working in partnership - which is key for success.”
The chosen towns will now receive a bespoke package of support tailored to their exact needs, access and engagement with corporate business leaders personally and professionally interested in the high street, a local corporate business leader linked with the local partnership team to support the vision for the high street and resources from campaign partner organisations such as the British Council of Shopping Centres.
High streets Minister Brandon Lewis said: “It’s great to see some of the biggest names in British retail like Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander using their business expertise and local knowledge to help others on the high street attract more shoppers.”
And Jane Pritchard, enterprise director, Business in the Community said: “We’re delighted with the enthusiastic response from high streets to our campaign and we were truly impressed with the quality of the applications.
Now we have selected our first group of towns we are really looking forward to getting down to the real work of the campaign and demonstrating how, with corporate support, we can revitalise Britain’s high streets.”
These new partnerships with business will help towns to drive footfall, occupy vacant properties and ultimately create jobs.
Business in the Community will also work with the Department of Community and Local Government’s (DCLG) Future High Streets Forum and the Prince’s Foundation for Building in the Community to deliver the campaign.
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