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Newark and Sherwood District Council’s portfolio holder for sustainable economic development, Matt Spoors, talks about hat is being done to support businesses and the high street

Across the district, we’re lucky to have so many unique and amazing independent stores that make our towns a great place to visit and shop.

We can all play our part in shopping locally and support our towns to continue to offer this unique experience and it’s why we are continuously working hard behind the scenes to support and engage with local businesses.

Through the Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund, we’re investing more than £1.3million over a three-year funding period to enable local businesses to make that next step and grow their business offer.

Newark and Sherwood district councillor Matt Spoors.
Newark and Sherwood district councillor Matt Spoors.

This includes access to 1-2-1 guidance from dedicated experts, running a variety of workshops, grant funding opportunities and investing in enterprise infrastructure.

Our Economic Growth team is on hand to help businesses with advice and guidance too and are available 8am until 6pm during weekdays.

Businesses can email Economic.Growth@newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk or, if they prefer to speak to someone face to face, can visit the Business Support Hub at Inspire Buttermarket in Newark which is open every Tuesday from 11am until 1pm.

We do a lot to support businesses, but I do read a lot of misconceptions on social media that I’d like to put to bed:

1.“The Council charges too much rent for shop owners.”. We only own a very small number of units in town centres across the district. Most are privately owned and set their own rent.

2.“The Council can’t attract businesses into units they own.”. We actually have great occupation rates in the buildings we own - the Buttermarket in Newark for example, where we’ve secured fantastic tenants such as Tambo Lounge, Iguazu, Specsavers and Inspire. Work on the former M&S building on Stodman Street is also showing great promise as we hope to breathe new life into the town centre with a new town centre living offer.

3.“Business rates are too high for small shops.” I’ll use an example, in Newark town centre, approximately half of businesses, including smaller shops and cafes don’t pay it. This is because many can apply for small business rate relief.

Looking ahead, we know we need more resilient and diverse town centres to help drive market confidence for the future.

In Ollerton and Clipstone we’ve recently welcomed £20 million of investment as part of its Levelling Up Fund Round three and in Newark, we’ve seen a further £20million package which we will invest in local people's priorities.

We want to keep supporting local businesses and we’re keen to see what exciting progress we make over the next few years.

Whether you need support with your business idea or you need that extra bit of advice, we want to see you flourish and proper, please contact Economic.Growth@newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk or call 01636 650 000.

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