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MPs welcome Budget boost for High Street retalers

In his speech yesterday (Monday), the Chancellor Phillip Hammond said: “Embedded in the fabric of our great cities, towns, and villages, the High Street lies at the heart of many communities.

“And it is under pressure as never before as Britain adopts on-line shopping with greater alacrity than any other large economy.

“So, if Britain’s High Streets are to remain at the centre of our community life they will need to adapt.”

The Chancellor then outlined plans to, from April 2019, cut business rates by a third for up to 90% of retail properties for two years.

And a £675 million Future High Streets fund will invest in improvements to town centre infrastructure, reduce congestion, support redevelopment around high streets and enable housing and new workspaces to be created.

  • Pictured: Milton Keynes MPs Iain Stewart (left) and Mark Lancaster.

Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster said: “This is great news for our high streets here in Milton Keynes. We have some fantastic independent retailers, be they in Wolverton, Woburn Sands, Bletchley, Olney, Newport Pagnell or Stony Stratford, all of which work incredibly hard 24-7 to make their business a success.

“It is right as they come under significant pressure from online retailers they are given a helping hand.”

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart added: “This was a really important announcement, as was the UK Digital Services Tax. Both together will look to rebalance and modernise the retail economy.

“There is plenty more we can do locally to help keep our high streets moving forward. We can’t forget about Central Milton keynes either, which is seeing footfall falling. Mark and I are continuing to work with the local Conservative Council group to push free parking, and I hope we can have a serious grown up conversation with the council about how to deliver that and other local initiatives.” 

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