Small firms may get cash help to open new shops

The scheme to boost high streets in the area is similar to the one which aimed to help Market Weighton in 2014.
The scheme to boost high streets in the area is similar to the one which aimed to help Market Weighton in 2014.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader Stephen Parnaby has announced plans for a new initiative designed to support “nervous” high street businesses.

Under the proposals, small businesses will be offered help in taking on empty high street units, while funding will go towards improving existing shop fronts.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby also outlined plans to offer grants to business start-ups.

The proposed “high street business growth fund” will aim to provide support to entrepreneurs looking to commit to take on high street premises but see it as a high-risk approach in the current climate.

It is similar to the high street fund launched by the council in 2014, which aimed to help revitalise up to 13 town centres across the East Riding, including Market Weighton.

With the latest plans, the council is looking to build on existing high street-based events such as the Tour de Yorkshire by encouraging businesses to work together in collaboration – to the benefit of the local economy.

Mr Parnaby said: “Nationally the high street as we know it today is in decline.

“Some of our towns are bucking the trend and continue to thrive but I believe there is much to be done and we need to take action.

“As you look across the East Riding there are challenges around empty units and some tired shop fronts. In those areas the general street scene would benefit from attention in terms of overall appearance to physical items such as public benches and bins.”