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£10,000 boost for wonderland

Councillor Tom Burns

Councillor Tom Burns

 

Cash from a pot given to boost Preston’s high street will transform the city into a winter wonderland this weekend.

The £10,000 hand-out from the High Street Innovation Fund will be used to fund a series of celebrations at the three-day Frozen North Winter Weekender which takes place from tonight.

It will see theatre, live music performances, children’s events and film screenings take place on the Flag Market.

Preston was given £100,000 from the fund by the Government to spearhead activities to boost retailers as part of the initiative led by self-styled Queen of Shops, Mary Portas.

Ruth Heritage, of organisers They Eat Culture, said: “The fund is all about activating the high street and we saw during the Guild this summer that culture can be a social activator.

“If we can get more people into the city centre, we can get them into our shops and restaurants and add a vibrancy to the high street.

“I am sure there will be other parts of the fund which will be about pump-priming start-up businesses and business support.”

She said she hoped “careful maintenance” of the fund would allow the city to bid for other pots of cash linked to culture.

Coun Tom Burns, the cabinet member for culture and leisure at the city council, said the event was part of a drive to create “a cafe culture” in the city centre.

He said: “It will be a legacy of the Guild.”

The New Continental, a pub on South Meadow Lane, Broadgate, run by Mrs Heritage, has opened a Tundra Bar on the Flag Market selling a range of mulled wines, craft ales and ciders until New Year’s Eve.

Council chief executive Lorraine Norris said the £10,000 would pay for the Weekender event.

 

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