Surrey retail businesses enjoy £3 million windfall

A number of shopping areas in Surrey are set to benefit from a new £3 million windfall, with up to £750,000 to be made available annually over the next four years. The funds will be given to local boroughs and districts in order to help them improve their secondary shopping centres.

The money – which falls under the title of the Town Centre Revitalisation Fund – will be used to improve the retail areas outside of the main shopping districts in the larger areas of the county and to help assist retail areas in the smaller regions.

This follows on from council leader David Hodge’s announcement of a Local Centre Improvement Fund of £250,000, which traders and community groups will be able to bid for a share of across the next four years. This fund has been created in order to help spruce up local shopping parades and village centres within the county.

Peter Martin, deputy leader for the council, said:

“Local businesses and shops are the lifeblood of every community so hopefully this planned scheme will be the first of many we support in towns the length and breadth of Surrey.”

“While money is tight because of rising demand for services such as adult social care, there are still plenty of smaller things that we can do that make a big difference to people’s daily lives – and schemes like this benefit both traders and shoppers as well as the local economy.”

Fiona Stimpson, chairman of the Horley Chamber of Commerce, also greeted the news positively. She said:

“Horley could do with more signs to direct both drivers and rail passengers towards the town centre.”

“These are lacking in some areas of the town.”

“We also need a part-time events manager to help promote Horley.”

“Perhaps he or she could cover the whole Reigate and Banstead borough on a full-time basis.”

Leatherhead’s Church Street is one of the first projects that will benefit from the funding, receiving £200,000 to improve paving and lighting in the area, and to install seats for visitors.