Belfast Telegraph

Fund for new high street shops

A project has been launched to encourage young people to consider opening a high street business to help revitalise "flagging" town centres.

Leading charity the Carnegie UK Trust is targeting 16 to 30-year-olds by offering to help with ideas for opening new shops.

Carnegie hopes that thousands of youngsters will apply to be part of its TestTown initiative, which will be held this summer in Manchester, Middlesbrough, Rhyl, Kirkinilloch, Bury St Edmunds, Perth and Coleraine.

Regional winners will receive £500 start-up funding, while the national winner will get £10,000 to invest in a business.

Jim Metcalfe of the Carnegie UK Trust said: "The time has come to offer young people the opportunity to bring a new perspective to our high streets. In the age of online shopping and social media, town centres need to adapt to woo local people back into them.

"TestTown will demonstrate that imaginative, youthful thinking can help our flagging high streets. It will show young people that they can realise their potential and create great new businesses.

"There is chronic youth unemployment in the UK and the sight of vacant shops in our town centres is something this initiative aims to change."

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