Council continues to buck the national trend for empty high street units
Telford & Wrekin Council is continuing to buck the national trend by creating vibrant high streets across the borough.
Latest figures from 2022 show that out of 727 retail units across towns in Telford and Wrekin, just 32 (4.4%) stand empty - well below the UK national average of 13.8%.
The council helps businesses to launch on the high street through its successful ‘Pride in Our High Street’ initiative which aims to revive the borough's high streets and support local businesses.
Through the programme, over the last three years the council has handed out 291 grants to local businesses, totalling over £1.1 million.
Among these grants are 59 business start-up grants, helping new businesses to launch on the high street, and 45 start-up trial grants which enable businesses to test the waters as pop-up stalls on markets or in empty retail units.
The initiative has also awarded 53 eco grants to help businesses become more sustainable, 31 façade grants to improve shop frontages and enhance the overall appearance of high streets, and 19 digital grants to equip businesses to trade effectively in the digital arena.
More recently, the Council has provided 63 diversification grants initially aimed at helping businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and which now support them through the cost-of-living crisis and the impact on businesses needing to diversify to sustain their business.
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for place (the economy & neighbourhood services), said: "We continue to make great progress tackling empty shop units and breathing new life into our high streets through the Pride in Our High Street programme.
“The number of empty units in our towns across Telford and Wrekin is well below the national average which underlines our commitment to supporting local businesses during these challenging financial times.
“These results are a testament to the resilience and hard work of our local businesses and their commitment to our communities.
“This is something we are incredibly proud of and just highlights the success rates that Telford & Wrekin Council is achieving through the Pride in Our High Street initiative.
“The series of grants that we provide have made a huge difference to many businesses, enabling them to occupy previously empty high street units and encouraging people to shop locally.
“The grants have helped businesses to grow and develop, while also improving the overall appearance of our high streets.
“We remain committed to supporting local businesses and creating vibrant high streets which we can all be proud of.”
For more information on grants, funding, and support available for our high street businesses visit: www.telford.gov.uk/info/20715/pride_in_our_high_street