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Walsall to kickstart commercial enterprise in its high street

Walsall Council has outlined its plans for how it will use the £100,000 received from the Department for Communities and Local Government's High Street Innovation Fund.


Walsall to kickstart commercial enterprise in its high street

The Council, which was awarded the funding in March, will use the cash to support new start-ups and develop existing business in the town.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, the Council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for regeneration, said it was an opportunity to reignite Walsall.

"This is a project which supports the Coalition's vision for Walsall's future, a thriving commercial metropolis which sustains development and growth," he said.

"We have been given a chance to create a legacy for economic wellbeing, providing investors, shoppers and visitors to Walsall with an attractive, busy, successful town centre."

Walsall Council is currently in discussion with local companies to produce a package of financial incentives for landlords including free business rates for up to 12 months. Pro-active marketing and promotion will also increase footfall to those units and properties included in the scheme.

Nick Parkinson, the Walsall Town Team Member who is fronting the project, said: "This project will see private and public sector joining forces to support and nurture new start up businesses in getting their foot in the door to running their own retail business.

"It will also support existing small businesses looking to relocate into Walsall town centre from both inside and outside of the borough."

The project officially launches today when landlords can put forward their units for consideration and submit official applications. Those who meet the specific criteria, will be invited to submit their application for business ideas. If successful in the application process, candidates will then take on one of the selected Innovation Fund retail units and possibly receive up to 12 months free businesses rates, up to six months occupancy rent free and intense business support from both the Council's Town Centre team and partners.


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