Traders eye £100k development grant

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A CASH injection of thousands of pounds could bring new life, visitors and business to a Derbyshire town.

Eckington may be selected to become a ‘Portas pilot’ after business group the Eckington Development Company submitted a bid for the project with North East Derbyshire District Council.

If successful, project leaders would be able to claim up to £100,000 of Government funding to improve the town centre.

Development could include grants to revamp shop fronts, improvements to the main routes into the town centre, the launch of an Eckington Summer Gala and a new website to showcase the town and encourage new businesses.

The general appearance of the town centre may also be worked on.

The Portas pilot scheme was launched following a report by retail expert Mary Portas, which highlighted the need to invest in town centres across the country.

Coun Pat Kerry, council cabinet member for the economy, said: “Eckington has a lot to be proud of as it stands – strong heritage, historic buildings, and a community that cares about its future.

“Like town centres up and down the country it is widely acknowledged the town centre has much unrealised potential, and that investment and change is needed to create the successful, thriving town we all want to see. “