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Southampton community to share million pound grant
11:45am Saturday 4th May 2013 in News
A SOUTHAMPTON community will share part of a £1 million Government windfall aimed at breathing new life in to high streets, it was revealed today.
Part of the cash will be ploughed in to revitalising Northam Road under a scheme rolled out by the Department of Communities and Local Government. The area is one of seven in the country sharing the cash.
It comes as housing and local government minister, Mark Prisk, warned shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers who have turned to the internet.
Mr Prisk said the Government is doing ''all it could'' to help shops survive, including reducing business rates and encouraging local councils to be more flexible with parking.
''We will keep providing support where it is needed, but it takes more than funding to make this work,'' he told the Daily Telegraph.
''As consumers, our behaviour has changed. High streets need to respond to that change if they are to prosper.''
He added that local communities need to support their high street shops, with online shopping now accounting for 15% of retail trade.
The seven communities which who won a share of the grant are Northam Road in Southampton, Herne Hill in south London, , Altrincham in Greater Manchester, Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, Gloucester and Rotherham.
Rotherham town centre was handed £268,058 of the High Street Renewal award for creating a strategy which focuses on supporting new and existing independent shops, which has resulted in an eight per cent increase in footfall.
Gloucester city centre received £133,057 for its launch of a night market while Herne Hill was given £93,057 for helping its market to thrive by cutting red tape.
The High Street Renewal fund is a new Government initiative, set up in the wake of retail guru Mary Portas's review into how to rejuvenate struggling town centres.
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