Chancellor’s cash boost for town centres welcomed

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement in The Budget that high streets and town centres are to get a £1.5 billion boost.

Philip Hammond unveiled plans to revitalise high streets with a £675m Future High Streets Fund and  additional support to smaller businesses that will see their business rates bills cut by a third for two years from April 2019.

Cllr Govindia said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s decision to offer more support to shops and small businesses and hope to receive our share of this funding so that we can do more locally to help our local businesses flourish.

“The more we can do to support our high streets and town centres the better it will be for the wider economy. More successful shops and businesses mean greater employment opportunities for our residents and more leisure and retail choice for our residents.  Our town centres are at the heart of local communities and are key to making Wandsworth such a special and prosperous borough.”

The council already does a great deal to promote, protect and support local businesses: 

• Boosting town centres’ futures through development of Business improvement Districts – business-led organisations that deliver a plan created and funded with town centre businesses.

• Supporting a full programme of community events and fairs throughout the year, and Christmas/festive events that promote footfall during essential Christmas trading period

• Promoting Small Business Saturday (December 1). The council will be running its annual shop local and Small Business Saturday campaign. Businesses owners are encouraged to create an offer/special deal to mark the day which will be promoted via social media, poster sites and various council channels. Local residents will be encouraged to support businesses in the borough by shopping small on SBS and keeping it local this festive season.

• Wandsworth Enterprise Month – March 2019 - an extended programme of events, support and advice for entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business or who want to grow their existing one. Highlights include Women’s Enterprise Day, Digital Tuesday, the Wandsworth Business Forum, youth enterprise, 1-1 advice clinics, social media and food enterprise. 

• Using our Planning Policies to strengthen town centres and high streets and ensure they thrive into the future.

• Providing better protection under planning laws to 120 of the borough’s most historic and popular pubs to safeguard them from redevelopment.

• Working with TfL and other partners to introduce cleaner buses in Putney High Street to improve air quality levels – a model we will push to be introduced in other local town centres.

• Working with other central London boroughs on a multi-million-pound programme to develop workspace and business support to a new digital and creative cluster, complementing the future arrival of Apple at the Power Station – Funded through the GLA’s Strategic Investment Pot – a competitive bidding programme that shares growth in business rates.

• Promoting the installation of Fibre Broadband, including facilitating the installation of this through our social housing neighbourhoods and bidding for Government funds to enhance this provision elsewhere, including for business.

• Supporting local businesses to access contracts on major developments including those in the Nine Elms development area.

• Enhancing provision of property-related information and advice to support those needing property or advice - https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/info/200018/business_premises

To find out more about how Wandsworth supports businesses visit http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/business