A NEW initiative has been launched to help revitalise Trafford's town centres.

Businesses can benefit from a £350,000 interest-free loans scheme to bring empty shops back into use.

Whether it’s an existing business wanting to expand or an entrepreneur from outside of Trafford wanting to set up in one of the borough's town centres, applications can now be made to the town centres loan scheme.

Executive councillor Michael Hyman said: “This is a fantastic scheme which Trafford Council has developed in partnership with representatives from our town centres, and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure that businesses make the best of this opportunity.

“We want local people and other visitors to talk about our town centres as hubs of activity, and to give them the encouragement to keep coming back.

"This scheme will give an incentive for businesses to set up in our local centres and see buildings and shop frontages improved, which in turn will enhance the trading environment and visitor experience.

"I am delighted that we are able to offer this support in helping our town centres to thrive.”

The loan fund is made up of £250,000 Trafford Council funding, which will be split equally across Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Urmston town centres; and £100,000 from central government’s high street innovation fund.

Eligible businesses will be able to apply for interest-free loans of between £1,000 and £10,000.

This is part of Trafford Council’s bigger £750,000 town centres investment fund, which is also dedicated to making environmental improvements across the borough’s town centres, as well as improvements to Altrincham Market.

To find out more about the town centres loan scheme, and to apply contact 0161 912 4137 or email martin.ledson@trafford.gov.uk