Preston city centre is set to get a boost

Preston is one of 34 towns to get the backing of Healthy High Streets

Preston is one of 34 towns to get the backing of Healthy High Streets

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Preston has been chosen to take part in a national scheme to boost the high street backed by the Prince of Wales.

The town is one of 34 to get the backing of Healthy High Streets which aims to increase shopper numbers by 10 per cent, cut the number of empty shops by 20 per cent and create jobs.

It will mean retailers get the support of the scheme’s “high street champions”, experts in various fields from big name companies who will offer help and advice.

The scheme comes from Business In The Community, an organisation part of Prince Charles’ Responsible Business Network which aims to encourage business to help create a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

The application was submitted by the Preston City Centre Business Improvement District (BID).

BID chairman John Boydell said: “We have achieved huge progress since the BID launched in 2009 but it is important we embrace help from external sources when it is on offer to us.

“We know we have done an excellent job of raising the standards for business owners and visitors to our city centre, but sometimes it takes the neutral eye of an outsider to pick up on the minor details and that is how we will look to utilise our selection for this programme.”

BID chairman John Boydell

“It is great that we will be able to work with Healthy High Streets and its many high profile partners as we look to develop Preston city centre even further.

“We know we have done an excellent job of raising the standards for business owners and visitors to our city centre, but sometimes it takes the neutral eye of an outsider to pick up on the minor details and that is how we will look to utilise our selection for this programme.”

Robin Foale, managing director of Santander Business Banking and chairman of the Healthy High Streets programme, said: “Congratulations to Preston on being chosen to be part of the Healthy High Streets programme.”

Business In The Community’s Peter Donohoe said: “It has been heartening to see first-hand the practical difference that collaborative, business-led action can make on UK high streets in just one year.

“We look forward to working with Preston to create lasting change.”

Other towns involved in the scheme include Blackpool, Derby and Northampton.