Proposed fund to boost city centre businesses

Posted on Thursday 6th October 2016


Initiatives to help fill empty shops in High Street and Commercial Street are being considered by Councillor John Richards, Newport City Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Investment.

These ideas will be backed up by a fund of £60,000 which has been set aside to stimulate economic growth and investment in Newport.

Although the opening of Friars Walk has had a positive effect, there are a number of empty shops in other parts of the city centre that need to be brought into use.

Overheads, such as rents and business rates, could be deterring smaller retailers. Unfortunately, the council has no control over the rents set by private landlords or the rates which are set by the Welsh Government.

The proposals being put forward include:

  • About £30,000 could be used to offer grants of up to £6,000 towards the costs of setting up a retail business in Commercial Street and High Street
  • In partnership with Newport Now, the council commissions a company to market some of the larger units, targeting multi-national companies
  • A planned pop-up business event aimed at giving advice and support to new entrepreneurs who could be given the opportunity for "test trading"
  • Establishing a Newport Business Awards event to celebrate the achievements of all businesses within the city.

Councillor Richards will make a decision on the proposals following consultation with all members.

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