Hillingdon tackles empty shops

Hillingdon tackles empty shopsThe recession has resulted in an increasing number of empty shops invading the high streets of Britain, but the high street in the London borough of Hillingdon is set to make a comeback against internet retailers with a new scheme designed to regenerate the Saturday shopping scene.

As part of the programme, a new pop-up photography studio will run for 12 weeks in one of the aforementioned empty premises, allowing a new business to gain momentum and shoppers to enjoy a bustling environment again.

AMD Photography will open its doors in Victoria Road, Ruislip Manor today (February 11th), with its official launch celebration featuring face painting, crafts, discounted vouchers and a photo competition taking place the following Saturday.

Owner Anna-Marina Dearsley was invited to start trading in the prime shopping location after winning a Dragons' Den-style competition in December last year, beating three other finalists to the prize.

"I'm so thrilled to be able to use the space in Ruislip Manor and offer an affordable wedding and portrait photography service to the local residents," Ms Dearsley said.

It is a highly fitting scenario as Ms Dearsley commenced her photographic career in Ruislip 20 years ago when she started working as a press photographer.

The contest took place as part of a town centre improvement programme supported by the Mayor's Outer London Fund, which was put into place with the aim of bringing more consumers to the high street.

So far, only one other premises has been filled as part of the scheme, by Paris Oxley's revamped and recycled furniture store 'The Shed' filling the premises next to AMD Photography.

Councillor Douglas Mills, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Filling vacant shops is one of many improvements we are bringing to our town centres and it's very encouraging to see independent local traders making their mark back on the high street."

She added that the scheme had been welcomed by both the residents and businesses of Hillingdon and that it had provided enterprises with the boost they need to set up long-term.

Published 11th February, 2013

© 2013 Estates IT Limited

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