Aiming to continue town centre support

SUPPORT is being offered to North Tyneside’s town centre high streets in town centres following the publication of a government-commissioned review.

Retail expert Mary Portas has produced a study on the state of the country’s town centres, offering recommendations on how to revive struggling high streets.

Officials at North Tyneside Council have now taken on board the recommendations in her report, published last month, and have pledged to continue work already under way to support the borough’s town centres.

Work over the last few years has seen Whitley Bay town centre flourish, and greater interest has been shown by retailers in North Shields and Wallsend.

Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “I welcome this report, which reinforces the approach we’ve already taken in North Tyneside.

“We absolutely recognise how important it is for us as a council to support our high streets however we can.

“That is why I asked for a retail centres task group to be established in 2009 – to identify and implement schemes to support the sustainable futures of our town centres.”

The task group is made up of chamber of trade representatives, councillors, officials from the transport firm Nexus, police officers and council regeneration, employment, traffic management, events and marketing staff.

The council has been running a year-long programme of events to attract shoppers including Whitley Bay’s Spanish City Christmas fair and the Victorian Christmas market in North Shields.

Independent retailers are featuring in a new advertising campaign highlighting the bespoke shops and services available in the borough.