Empty shops in Nottingham city centre to be blitzed in new drive by council
THE number of empty shops in the city centre is to be slashed – under ambitious plans by Nottingham City Council.
Last year a national survey claimed 30 per cent of stores in the city were empty, making Nottingham worse than any other large town or city in the country.
Take a look at our map of the city's empty shop hotspots
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The city council disputes these figures, but says there are still 199 vacant shop units in the city centre, nearly 17 per cent of the total.
It has now set up a task force which plans to assess every empty shop in the city and use £100,000 of Government cash to bring them up to scratch and encourage tenancy.
External grants will also be sought for bigger projects, with the aim of reducing the number of empty shops by two thirds.
It follows a £10,000 pilot in Derby Road, which had 16 empty units in April. The council says that six are now under offer or being let.
Councillor Nick McDonald, the city's portfolio holder for jobs, skills and business, said: "This problem won't be resolved by simple market forces, we need a clear strategy and clear focus."
Mr McDonald said the plans include encouraging more "pop-up shops", where people just rent a shop for a short period of time to try a new business idea.