Potters Bar's MP calls for investment in town's high streets

PUBLISHED: 15:16 10 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:17 10 February 2017

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden

Archant

Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden has urged Hertfordshire's Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to invest money in the town's high streets.

It follows numerous residents and businesses in Darkes Lane and High Street voicing fears over soaring business rates, commercial rents and the availability of office space for local companies.

At a meeting last month, Mr Dowden asked Herts LEP – a Government body responsible for economic growth in the county – to invest some of its £44million Growth Deal in the area.

The pot is set aside to help the county’s smaller settlements.

Mr Dowden said: “We discussed how in other areas of the county the LEP has worked with local businesses and councils to improve local high streets.

“Projects have included new parking spaces, improving footpaths, increasing pedestrianisation to create greater footfall past local shops, and improving public facilities on the high street.

“I stressed that we need similar work to help revitalise Potters Bar.

“Following my meeting with them, they agreed to look at how this could be used to support Potters Bar.”

He said it would be part of a much-needed “broader approach”, which would be coupled with him lobbying the Government and borough council to combat extortionate business rates.

Further talks will take place with in the coming weeks, but Mr Dowden stressed that any work would have to be done in conjunction with the LEP and borough council.

“I will work over the coming months and years to help put these ideas into practice so that our local businesses are given the backing they need to thrive,” the Hertsmere MP added.

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