MP urges everyone to 'shop local' and boost our high streets

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Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson MP has encouraged people in the borough to join him in showing their support for our high streets by shopping locally for High Street Saturday this weekend.

High Street Saturday, a new campaign day, aims to celebrate the place of high streets at the heart of communities like Pendle across the country. As part of the day, local people are being encouraged to:

• Pledge to shop locally on High Street Saturday

• Share photos and messages online using #HighStreetSaturday

• Encourage local councils to make good use of the Future High Street Fund, provided by the Government to make high streets and town centres fit for the future.

High streets have long been a place to bring communities together, a place for local people to access vital services and a place for businesses to thrive. But, the Government recognises that it is becoming harder for businesses on high streets across the country to compete with out-of-town shopping centres and online retailers.

That’s why the Government has:

• Delivered over £10 billion of business rates support since 2016, including cutting small retailers’ bills by a third.

• Backed community leaders with £675m. of funding to help modernise their high streets and town centres.

• Relaxed planning rules to support new homes on the high street, transforming them into community hubs where people work, live and shop.

High Street Saturday is a chance for local people to come together to celebrate and support the high streets at the heart of their local communities.

M Stephenson said: “High streets right across Pendle are instrumental in bringing people together – acting as a meeting place for friends and families and long supporting jobs for local people.

“But, as the retail market changes, I am encouraging people across Pendle to join me and Conservatives across the country on 16 March in pledging to shop locally to support the independent businesses we all know and love.

“The Conservatives in Government are determined to support our high streets by taking action on business rates, supporting high streets to modernise and helping to transform empty shops into new homes.”

Commenting, Ash from Pendle business Live Like the Boy, said: “While the changing retail market has been challenging for businesses like mine to adapt to as more people head to out-of-town shopping centres and online, support on business rates and creating the Colne BiD has helped to ensure we can continue trading on our wonderful high street.

“It’s great to see the Government prioritising this and dedicating a national campaign day, and I look forward to welcoming those taking part in High Street Saturday on March 16th."