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More must be done to deal with empty shops - Farron

September 24, 2013 3:45 PM

Tim in KendalSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for more action to be taken to deal with empty shops in our area.

Figures show that the first quarter of 2013 show that empty shops in Kendal rose from 53 to 60 which is the highest it has even been since South Lakeland District Council started collecting these figures.

The figures also show Ulverston is doing really well and have reduced the number of empty shops back to the 2012 levels. Ambleside and Windermere have reduced by 1 each but Bowness is on the increase this quarter.

Tim is asking for the council to look at innovative schemes like in Chester where empty shops were transformed into pop-up art galleries. Tim has also called on the Government to give small businesses the same business rate relief that charity shops enjoy. Charity shops receive 80 per cent mandatory non-domestic business rates relief, funded by central government.

Tim said: "We need to support local businesses and make sure everything that the council and public authorities do will assist them. I will spend the next few months listening to businesses and acting on their concerns.

"I know this is high on the councils agenda and I hope that we can together make real progress to deal with the issue of empty shops. Local councillors in Kendal are working on a plan for the future of the town, part of which is about dealing with empty shops. I have pledged to work with them to deliver their plan for the town."

"Our High Street has weathered the storm reasonably well over the last few years, but this is down to the dedication and determination of the business owners. I will fight for small business and do whatever I can to support them. We all need to work together and make sure we bring jobs and investment to South Lakeland."