St John’s gets major cash boost

By Rob George Friday 26 October 2012 Updated: 26/10 12:06

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Buy photos » Association chairman Gina Saunders has welcome the news of £10,000 for St John's

BUSINESSES in St John’s have been handed a £10,000 boost in their bid to breathe new life into the area and spark a revival of the so-called ‘Village in the City’.

St John’s was handed a share of the funding pot on Wednesday (October 24) from the Department for Communities and Local Government to help revitalise retail activity in the area.

The welcome news follows the bid by St John’s Traders Association and Worcester City Council for Government funding under the national ‘Portas Pilot’ scheme, fronted by retail guru Mary Portas, earlier this year.

Traders missed out on a possible £100,000 windfall at the time but are now drawing up a blueprint to attract more visitors to the area.

Among the schemes being drawn up using the £10,000 and an earlier grant from Worcester City Council is a space for a

range of innovative activities such as stalls where students and local businesses can sell their work.

The association also hope it will be used for advice sessions by the likes of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB), the police and other organisations.

Traders are also lining up an exciting programme of events ensure that St John’s becomes a tourist and shopping hot-spot.

Among the ideas being floated are a Spring Fair, Christmas Fair or a special step-back-in-time Medieval Fair while farmers’ markets and craft fairs will also become regular fixtures on the St John’s calendar.

A St John’s website is set to be launched, boasting a directory of local businesses as well as details of local groups, clubs, events and activities.

Signs to welcome visitors to St John’s, a guide to shops in the area and a loyalty scheme for local shops are also planned.

Association chairman Gina Saunders, who is a director of H Dayus Butchers, said: “This is fantastic news for St. John’s, it

will help to put the area on the map and encourage more people to come and shop in the area.

Coun Marc Bayliss, cabinet member for Economic Prosperity at Worcester City Council, said: “Together with the money that the City Council has already committed to support traders in St John’s, this announcement will make a real difference and

encourage more people to come and shop in this fantastic area.

Worcester MP Robin Walker, said: “I told the minister what a difference this sort of help and support would make to St John’s and I look forward to seeing the area go from strength to strength.”

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