Preventing Exmouth from turning into a 'ghost town' Empty

WHITEHALL plans to transform empty shops into social enterprises, art displays or learning centres to stop Exmouth from turning into a ghost town.

WHITEHALL plans to transform empty shops into 'social enterprises, art displays or learning centres' to stop Exmouth from turning into a ghost town.

A �3 million package to find 'creative' ways to reduce the impact empty shops have on the High Street - vital for town centre and business confidence - has been announced by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

Currently there are nearly 30 empty shops in Exmouth - and she says the move will stop the town from declining further.

She also announced special planning application waivers, standard interim-use leases, and the temporary leasing of shops to councils to allow empty shops to get makeovers for use as cultural, community or learning centres.

Hazel Blears said:

"Town centres are the heartbeat of every community and businesses are the foundation so it is vital that they remain vibrant places for people to meet and shop throughout the downturn.

Most Read

"Empty shops can be eyesores or crime magnets. Our ideas for reviving town centres will give communities the know how to temporarily transform vacant premises into something innovative for the community - a social enterprise, a showroom for local artists or an information centre - and stop the high street being boarded up.