Major new campaign launched by council to help boost town centre

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A NEW campaign to boost town centres is being launched by Warwickshire County Council.

Operation Footfall is a crusade to bring shoppers into Warwickshire’s high streets and reverse the recent trend which has seen big retail chains such as Jessops, HMV and Comet go into administration.

The campaign, part of the county council’s Going for Growth agenda, is inviting businesses community groups – large and small - to apply for grants to deliver a diverse range of initiatives to encourage footfall. Proposals for food festivals, big screen events, pop-up shops or even free parking could be considered.

Cllr Alan Farnell, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We have seen recently how hard the high street has been hit by the demise of major retail names like Comet and HMV. We are keen to buck that trend in Warwickshire and make our town centres a destination for shoppers and people going out in the evening for something to eat and drink.

“Operation Footfall is a major campaign which gives local businesses the opportunity to help us give the economy a much-needed boost. Funding will be allocated to a range of initiatives designed to revitalise Warwickshire’s market towns and town centres.

“It is a key part of our Going for Growth strategy which we are using to stimulate the business and economic environment. The county council is keen to put in place the necessary finance, infrastructure and expertise to deliver greater prosperity and prospects for Warwickshire.”

A total of £400,000 is being made available through Operation Footfall funding. Applications can be made for grants of up to £30,000. More information can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/operationfootfall

Other high profile Going for Growth projects being launched by the county council include apprenticeship programmes, small business loans and superfast broadband.

The £3.5 million Going for Growth funding has been identified from council reserves. Full council recommended that the money is earmarked for developing the economic growth agenda through a range of initiatives.