Improvement hope for town centre shops

September 24, 2009 10:36 PM
By Sophie Edwards in Brentwood Weekly News
Cllr David Kendall at the run down shops in Brentwood

Cllr David Kendall at the run down shops in Brentwood

RUNDOWN looking shop fronts and buildings could be given a facelift to make them in keeping with the revamped High Street.

Members of the Brentwood Town Centre Renaissance Group have been trying to come up with ways to encourage shop owners to improve tired and neglected parts of the town centre.

The £6million High Street improvements are due to finish in November and the Renaissance Group, which is made up of members of the business community, as well as councillors, wants to make sure the few rundown areas of the town don't drag the new-look High Street down.

At a recent meeting the Group discussed plans, including using £100,000 of council money to carry out repair work and offering to match-fund what businesses put in to give their premises a facelift. Standing in front of a tired looking former Essex Beds store, on the High Street, Liberal Democrat councillor David Kendall, who is a member of the Renaissance Group, said: "It is a sorry looking building and it's an example of just how bad it has got in some places.

"I welcome the £6million investment in the High Street, but it would be ridiculous to have these rundown buildings bringing it down.

"The council needs to be more proactive in getting together with landlords and talking to them about the state of buildings and shop fronts."

Nick Abbott, deputy chairman of the group, and general manager at BT Business Repair in Brentwood, said: "It's early days yet, but we're looking at helping some of the shop fronts where we can to make a tangible difference.

"We want to work with the landlords to smarten things up."