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Cash grant given after Birkenhead riot will fund town centre improvements
Buy this photo Birkenhead town centre
GOVERNMENT funding to help areas affected by the riots of 2011 will be used to improve Birkenhead town centre.
A grant of £100,000 has been made available to Wirral Council which will be used to "add vibrancy" to the shopping area and attract investors.
Town centre traders will be consulted on how best to spend the cash, and the local authority will work on the project with Wirral Chamber of Commerce.
The idea behind the scheme is to set up Birkenhead as a "Business Improvement District" (BID).
In August of 2011, Wirral became caught up in riots that began in London and then swept across the country.
A mob rampaged through the town smashing windows and looting items from shops.
Two cars were set alight near Grange Road and dozens of rioters were arrested, including an 11-year-old boy.
The civil unrest shook the Government and the following year, a £10m package of measures to assist areas hit by the disturbances was announced.
Wirral Council is one of 100 local authorities across the country chosen to receive funding.
At a meeting of the council's ruling cabinet on Thursday, regeneration spokesman Cllr Pat Hackett said: “I believe this will add greatly to the vibrancy and potential for the town centre to grow and attract greater investment.
"High streets are a very visible indicator of how well a local community and economy is thriving.
“They are recognised as important places where communities come together, and they provide employment and business opportunities.
“However, they cannot simply rely on retail – they have to offer something new and different that neither shopping centres nor the internet can match.”
He said the Chamber of Commerce was chosen as a partner because of its strong links with town centre traders though its "Business Watch" scheme.
A "BID" steering group will be formed, chaired by Cllr Brian Kenny, who will manage activities on a day-to-day basis.
Specific details of its improvement proposals will be announced at a later date.
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