Town set to share retail reformation

Penny Mordaunt, MP, right, Minister for the High Street, visits Strutt Street in Belper on Thursday.
Penny Mordaunt, MP, right, Minister for the High Street, visits Strutt Street in Belper on Thursday.

Council leaders hope to learn from the retail success of a nearby town to transform the economic fortunes of Ripley and Heanor, it has emerged.

Late last year, Belper was acknowledged as both Best Market Town and Best High Street in the UK as part of the prestigious Great British High Street competition.

Borough council bosses now hope to use Belper’s trading success, and work carried out by the Belper Vision group, as a way of spreading prosperity to other towns in the borough.

The news emerged following a visit to Amber Valley from High Street Minister Penny Mordaunt last week for a guided tour of the town.

Speaking after the visit, Amber Valley Borough Council Leader Councillor Paul Jones, said: “We are hoping elements of Belper Vision’s work can be replicated in our other town centres across the borough.

“It’s fantastic for Belper to receive such attention and be recognised for the creative and committed efforts it has made to improving the shopping experience for its residents and visitors.

“This will almost certainly lead to important economic benefits for the town.”

Ms Mordaunt added: “Belper worked with local transport providers to brand buses, they did a lot of replanting and worked with a huge range of local traders.

There is a real spotlight on Belper and the town should use this to their advantage. With such success last year, it would be good to see advice being traded between towns.”

Back in November the town was crowned the best high street and market town in the UK, with judges saying it was an example of how town centres can be transformed.

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