Cash pot set to help make Rotherham top of the shops

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Rotherham has benefited from a £268,000 Government grant to help encourage independent businesses and make its independent shops some of the best in Britain.

The money has been awarded from a £1 million fund shared across seven places in the UK.

Local growth minister Mark Prisk announced the handouts for towns and cities which use innovative ways to offer a unique shopping experience and increase consumer satisfaction.

Rotherham Council’s efforts so far have already seen an eight per cent increase in visitors, while in surveys, satisfaction with shops has risen from 42 per cent to 92 per cent between 2009 and last year.

The council plans to use its grant to increase support for businesses and provide joint or stand-alone trading spaces to encourage the development of new businesses.

Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone said: “It seems that hardly a week goes by without some local or national recognition of the strong work that is taking place to show that Rotherham is a town that is serious about business.

“This award provides much needed funding but it is not to be taken in isolation.

“It is building on past achievements to make sure traders in our town get a flying start.”