Shaping Portsmouth to support a ‘new normal’ for high streets

Shaping Portsmouth are leading a new Portsmouth City Council project to help high street businesses to operate safely and profitably and to help residents return confidently.

The project will particularly target SME businesses in Fratton, North End, Albert Road and Southsea shopping areas. Shaping Portsmouth will be working closely with businesses and associations in these areas to find out what support is needed and to come up with creative ways to trade safely and profitably. They will also be co-ordinating virtual trader association meetings.

The project is part of the council’s commitment to support the recovery of the local economy as restrictions are eased. A ‘Go Shop, Go Eat, Go Safe, Go Local’ campaign was launched recently to encourage residents to support local businesses.

It is being funded from the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Cllr Steve Pitt, the council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “As part of our commitment to support the local economy, we have asked Shaping Portsmouth to work closely with businesses in some of our key areas to look at how they could do things differently and together for mutual benefit.

“This could include sharing a delivery service, making collective use of any available outdoor space such as parklets and looking at digital solutions – particularly to help our more vulnerable residents to continue to use their favourite local shops.”

Stef Nienaltowski, Chair of both Shaping Portsmouth and the new Shaping Portsmouth’s Future Together group, said: “I am delighted to be working with the council and businesses on this vital project. Our retail sector is a significant generator of jobs and income for the city and it is vital that we get people using them positively and safely and using the experience of the recent times to bring new technologies and methods to our local shopping experience.

“I am looking forward to meeting and working with both the trade associations and those shop owners not represented by a formal body, to bring this positive project to a successful conclusion. I will be in touch soon but in the meantime if businesses in the four identified areas have any initial questions please send them to me at ContactUs@shapingportsmouth.co.uk

Find out more at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/gosafegolocal

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