Lewisham receives grant to rescue deserted shops

Spotted by BC stalwart Monkeyboy, The Press Association reports that Lewisham is one of five London councils to receive a £52,000 grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government to find new uses for empty local shops, to improve high streets in the run up to Christmas.

Our main high streets - Brockley Road and Lewisham Way - have relatively few completely empty shops (the biggest problem remains the number of limbo shops), but off the top of our heads, we can think of "Ask Toes" and the deserted holistic therapy centre would both qualify and we're sure BC readers can think of others that need rescuing. Perhaps they could spend some of the money to finally find a way to get rid of the sea container from outside Meze Mangal.

The other London Councils to benefit are Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Wandsworth.

In a statement which underlines the vital need for local government to provide an environment that will encourage entrepreneurs to return to local high streets, Communities Secretary John Denham said:

"We know that the downturn has really hurt some English high streets, especially where there was already high deprivation. But the real help we are giving now is making a difference in keeping town centres vibrant.

"This money will mean councils can put their creative ideas to work and transform those boarded-up eyesores into attractions that bring the shoppers back to the high street."

We'll ask Lewisham Council to explain how they plan to spend the money and report back.