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An annual allocation of $230,000 for the next three years to turn around the declining fortunes of the Hutt’s central business district is part of the draft Long Term Plan now out for public consultation.
A group of 27 businesses backing the proposal says more than 30 retail premises were empty at the start of the year, mainly along High Street and Queens Drive, and the prospects for any improvement do not look good unless concrete measures are taken – and soon.
The proposed allocation would fund the appointment of an individual to work with retailers and landlords to reinvigorate the CBD by attracting more businesses into the area. Another goal would be to co-ordinate hours of opening and marketing strategies. Money would also be used for promotions work.
The allocation would be funded through a targeted rate on the central business district’s 404 businesses. The average payment would be $570 a year. Consultation on the draft Long Term Plan is open till May 16.