Good news at last for the high streets in Wyre?

Coun Ruth Duffy welcomes help for shops in Wyre
Coun Ruth Duffy welcomes help for shops in Wyre
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Businesses in Wyre could be in line for some vital help, if a new scheme gets the  green light.

Businesses in Wyre could be in line for some vital help, if a new scheme gets the

Shops on Lord Street in Fleetwood could benefit if a new scheme is introduced in Wyre

Shops on Lord Street in Fleetwood could benefit if a new scheme is introduced in Wyre

green light.

Councillors are to consider bringing in the Government-funded Business Rate Retail Discount Scheme to help traders in the borough who qualify.

Shops in Wyre’s town centres such as Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Poulton and Garstang could benefit, as well as other businesses in the borough.

It has been a tough time for the nation’s high streets in recent years, with town centres coming under pressure for a number of reasons.

The growth of online shopping and large, out-of-town superstores, coupled with a period of austerity measures, has put extra pressure on shops and there is a fear that more and more units will be left boarded-up.

So, last autumn, the Government announced it was funding the scheme, which will effectively compensate local councils for the money they would lose out in reduced business rate payments from the shops.

The initiative has been welcomed by Fleetwood councillor Ruth Duffy.

Coun Duffy (inset), an independent member not contesting next month’s elections, has previously called for such a scheme.

She said: “This is a really welcome move, especially for my home town, Fleetwood, which is really struggling.

“I just hope it is brought in quickly.”

The scheme is open to small and medium-sized businesses such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, hardware stores and even supermarkets and charity shops.

But operators such as banks, building societies, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers, accountants and estate agents, would not be eligible.

The scheme comes before a Wyre portfolio holders’ meeting on Thursday.