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Acomb's Front Street shopping parade set for £30,000 injection
CITY leaders are set to spend £30,000 on a project to protect and boost a York’s community’s main shopping parade amid fears local businesses are struggling to survive.
The proposed cash for Front Street, in Acomb, would come from City of York Council’s Economic Infrastructure Fund and is intended to draw more shoppers to the area, which local councillors said was becoming more well-known for betting and charity shops than high street names and independent food-sellers.
If agreed by the council’s cabinet next week, the funding would be used to provide facilities and resources for events promoting Front Street. The lack of an electricity supply for market stalls and “significant deterioration” in the area’s appearance, including seats, trees, flower tubs and signs, have been identified as reasons why its image has suffered.
The scheme could ultimately be extended to other parts of York which are underperforming economically, with a report on the Front Street proposals saying there had been “missed opportunities” and residents in neighbouring, relatively affluent wards usually chose not to shop in Acomb.
Its success will be measured by footfall levels over a year, empty shops being occupied and involvement in community events. Westfield councillor Steve Burton said: “A range of improvements are needed to increase footfall in Front Street and make the area a popular shopping destination once again.
“By investing in the necessary infrastructure to hold events, this is the first step in generating interest in the area from the perspective both of customers and businesses wanting to move into vacant premises.”
Efforts to boost Front Street trade have been supported by the Acomb Alive traders’ group and Acomb Business Team, whose members include Acomb councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing.
She said the proposals came at “a critical time” for the shopping parade.
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