Jack Brereton MP asked David Lidington MP, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, standing in for the Prime Minister, about further government support for re-energising our town centres in Stoke-on-Tent at this afternoon’s PMQs.
Jack asked: Rejuvenating our town centres in Stoke-on-Trent is absolutely essential, would my Rt. Hon. friend join me in welcoming the Open Doors pilot recently announced for Fenton in my constituency and agree that our Future High Streets Fund bid for Longton must also succeed?
Speaking this morning, Jack said:
"I’m proud that Fenton has been selected as one of five areas across the UK for the Open Doors pilot to match landlords struggling to fill their empty properties with community groups looking for space. But there’s much more to do to help our local businesses and I’m also pushing for Longton to receive a slice of the £650m High Streets Fund recently announced by the Chancellor. We need our high streets and town centres to thrive if we are to attract shoppers and visitors to the area and create jobs and opportunities for local people - and I’m looking forward to bringing this important issue to the attention of the Prime Minister."
PMQs begin at midday, with Jack asking the first question of the session. The Minister’s response was as follows:
“I am happy to join my hon. Friend in welcoming the Open Doors pilot in his constituency. We very much welcome bids from places such as Longton town centre for this fund. My right hon. Friend the Communities Secretary is going to study all the bids carefully before making a decision later this year, but he and I know that my hon. Friend will be a doughty champion of the claims of his constituency in particular.”