£100k to bring new businesses to towns

A CASH windfall for West Lindsey District Council could see some much-needed investment in Market Rasen and Caistor.

The authority is one of 10 across the country to each receive £100k from the government’s £10m High Street Innovative Fund,.

The fund is part of the government’s response to the Portas Review of high streets, but is separate from the Portas Pilot competition which Market Rasen’s Business Improvement Group, MR BIG, has entered.

The money will be used to support high streets in Market Rasen, Caistor and Gainsborough.

Mark Sturgess, director of regeneration and planning at West Lindsey District Council, said: “This is great news for West Lindsey.

“We hope this will help compliment the huge work that has already taken place in regenerating Gainsborough and the district as a whole.

“The allocation of £100,000 has been awarded to a number of local authorities with the highest percentage of empty business properties.”

The fun focuses on all empty properties – not just shops – and the Government is encouraging local councils to use new ways of getting these empty properties used.

It specifically refers to local councils using business rate discounts, which, following a change in the law, councils are now able to offer.

The Government is also looking at councils to work in collaboration with landlords to see these empty properties brought back in to use.

In particular it wants to see landlords offering a discount to new tenants, councils using the fund to reduce business rates for empty properties and for councils to also match the business rate discount provided by the fund.

“We are delighted to be awarded this fund and we will continue to support two bids for the Portas Pilot Competition in Gainsborough and Market Rasen.”

For more on the fund and to keep up to date with MR BIG Portas Pilot submission and other plans visit http://marketrasenguide.co.uk/wordpress.