The Daily Telegraph
Incentives for shops to help high street to flourish again
HIGH streets could be in line for a boost as some independent shops in Poole are spared rent and business rates for two years under a new scheme operated by one of the UK’S leading retail landlords.
The Dorset town is set to be rejuvenated in a project designed to breathe new life in its town centre, which had been described as a “ghost town”.
Under the initiative, which is backed by Legal & General, the owners of small independent retail outlets do not have to pay any rent or business rates for the first two years in Kingland Crescent, a parade of shops near a shopping centre.
The shops involved in the scheme are a fishmongers, zero waste grocery store, surfboard maker, coffee shop, a gallery, restored furniture shop, fragrance
‘Small-scale strategies like these are a perfect complement to our wider, major regeneration plan’
shop, plant and interiors shop, design studio and a gin bar and shop.
If it proves to be successful, it could act as a blueprint for future initiatives in other struggling high streets across the country.
Retailers say they would never have been able to set up new shops without the scheme and think it could save other high streets if it was rolled out elsewhere. Dan Pink, 36, who has launched Ten Foot Naked, a zero waste grocery business, said: “The shop has been crucial for growing the business. Having the extra space of the shop means we’ve been able to grow our product range that much more.”
Cllr Philip Broadhead, deputy leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council, said: “Small-scale strategies like these are a perfect complement to our wider, major regeneration plans.
“Taken together, initiatives such as this ... are all part of the jigsaw puzzle of rejuvenating our high streets.”