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Council / More than £200,000 for town centre improvements

Lerwick's Commercial Street. Photo: Shetland NewsLerwick's Commercial Street on a busy summer's day. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Islands Council is waiting to hear of the specific conditions attached to a capital grant of £205,000 in government funding ringfenced to invest in town centre improvement measures.

The money will help fund a wide range of investments, which will make town centres more vibrant, enterprising, and accessible, a government statement said on Friday.

But when approached by Shetland News neither Shetland Islands Council nor Living Lerwick had been given any details by the government as to how the money could be used locally.

The SIC’s chief executive Maggie Sandison said: “Shetland Islands Council welcomes the scheme to help our town centres flourish.

“We wait to understand the expectations of how the funding should be allocated and will be working with our partners to maximise the benefit and deliver on our key outcomes for our community.”

The money is part of a £50 million fund distributed to all 32 local authorities and earmarked to help make town centres across the country more attractive.

Announcing the Town Centre Fund, economy secretary Derek Mackay said the government wanted to help town centres to diversify and adjust to a changing retail climate.

“I want to make sure we can keep life in our high streets, and ensure they continue to be thriving places for communities to live, work and enjoy,” he said.

The fund has been launched in partnership with CoSLA, the representative body of the Scottish local authorities.