Fight to boost key shopping area in York

9:59am Wednesday 12th December 2012

By Julie Hayes

SUPPORT for a key shopping area in York will be debated by councillors tomorrow.

Coun Steve Burton, a councillor for Westfield ward, is to propose a motion to help regenerate the area at the meeting of the full council at the Guildhall at 6.35pm.

Acomb ward councillor David Horton, who will second the motion, said: “Businesses in Acomb need to retain existing customers and attract new ones to maintain a vibrant retail area. We are encouraging them to come together to discuss what they can do as a ‘team’, and what help they think the council can give them to boost footfall in Front Street and shops in the immediate area.”

The council said it hoped that similar groups and partnerships across the city could act as an inspiration for an Acomb Team, which could be set up very soon, should the plan receive council endorsement this week.

But local traders, who have set up their own group Acomb Alive in October, said they had not been contacted about the proposals.

Sue Hunter, owner of Floral Elegance and chair of Acomb Alive, which she set up with former council leader Andrew Waller, said they had leaflet-dropped local businesses and held two meetings to discuss how to get a community back together in Acomb and get its centre thriving, with suggestions including holding markets and competitions.

Andrew Waller has also applied to Westfield Community First, which can make grants of up to £1,500, for funding to help them put on an Easter street market.

Westfield Community First, which is funded by Government money for deprived communities, discussed market plans with residents among other projects at its community meeting on Saturday.

Sue said: “We welcome support from the council if it’s going to be more beneficial for Acomb and we may get more funding. But businesses don’t want it to be taken over. We have set up this initiative and as businesses we ourselves know what we need. But ultimately we all need to work together.”

Coun Burton said the council wanted to enhance what was already being done and would offer technical expertise on things like markets and help from the economic development unit.

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