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Progressive Alliance proposes extra £600k to help high streets and local businesses

The Progressive Alliance which runs Milton Keynes City Council has today announced funding plans of an extra £600,000 to help high streets and local businesses.

Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors have proposed the extra money as part of the 2023/24 draft budget to ensure continued support for the local economy.

If approved, it will see:

  • Half a million pounds (£500,000) go towards an economic development fund to support local businesses

  • £100,000 allocated to create a renewed programme of support for the city’s high streets

Councillor Rob Middleton, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Resources, said:

“The Progressive Alliance wants Milton Keynes to become a thriving city with a bustling local economy. We are taking leaps towards this, but we cannot become complacent. That is why it’s crucial we do all we can to keep the local economy strong by continuing to invest in our high streets, independent businesses, and local entrepreneurs. This, in turn, will provide greater support for our residents by creating more jobs and better opportunities.”

Research from the Resolution Foundation published late last year revealed that the average household is set to see a real disposable income fall by £1,700 over 2023/24 – which means a colossal £192m lost spending power across Milton Keynes for the year. This could have devastating impact on the city’s high streets.

Councillor Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of Milton Keynes City Council and Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, added:

“The Conservative government has made it difficult for small businesses in Milton Keynes to survive. Last year, the city’s high streets and small businesses were hit with increasing energy bills and skyrocketing inflation. Now, we can expect to see our businesses hit further as people have less money to spend. We are stepping up to support these businesses during a time of need, as our local businesses and high streets are crucial in helping our economy go from strength to strength.”

Throughout the last year, the City Council has ensured continued support for small businesses through the multi-million-pound Economic Recovery Plan. Almost 1,000 businesses have benefited from the £3.1m package which was launched in response to the pandemic.


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