MP supports ‘High Street Saturday’
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert showed his support for ‘High Street Saturday’ last weekend (16 March) by visiting local shops, including Arundel Butchers.
High Street Saturday is a new initiative to promote the place of the high street at the heart of communities, nurturing small businesses and delivering local jobs.
Shopping habits are changing rapidly, with online shopping increasing and people making fewer big shopping trips to high streets.
The Chancellor offered further support for high streets in his Budget last year by cutting bills by one-third for retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for two years from April this year. The measure will benefit up to 90 per cent of retail properties, and comes on top of reforms and reductions to business rates announced since the Budget in 2016 which are worth more than £12 billion over the next five years. 600,000 businesses have been taken out of paying business rates altogether to encourage them to grow and provide jobs.
Arundel Butchers is a family-run business, owned and managed by Matthew Vann for 28 years. His brother William works with him. They are situated in the heart of Arundel high street in a building which dates back to 1760 and is believed to have been the site for a butchers since it was built.
Matthew Vann said: “It was nice of Nick to visit us on High Street Saturday and to hear what trading is like for us and other businesses. Market days are always busy but more needs to be done for other days in the week. I am pleased Nick is looking closely at the concerns that businesses like ours have.”
Mr Herbert said: “High streets in our villages and small market towns are under pressure, and High Street Saturday was a way to promote independent stores, and to encourage people to shop locally.”
1. Photograph: (left to right) – Bernie Adfield, William Vann, Nick and Matthew Vann.
2. To read more about the Government’s package of funding to support high streets (24 January 2019) see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-funding-to-help-town-centres-and-high-streets-thrive.
3. To read more about the Future High Streets fund see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/675-million-fund-to-transform-high-streets-and-town-centres-opens-to-communities.
4. To read more about the expert panel appointed to advise on best practice measures to help high streets thrive, see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/expert-panel-appointed-to-advise-on-the-future-of-the-high-street.