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Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley has welcomed the support of Assembly Members for a motion he proposed calling on the Minister for Communities to consider establishing a Living Over the Shops scheme.

The Upper Bann MLA said:

‘‘I am pleased that this motion was passed and that progress has been made in implementing a scheme that has potential to increase investment and spending in our town centres.

The Living Over the Shops scheme would provide grants to enable landlords to convert space above retail premises into attractive residential accommodation within towns.

The impact of COVID-19 has potential to vastly accelerate the decline of the High Street, and we must take action now to mitigate this.

Rather than letting high streets fall into urban decay, we can act now to revive our urban spaces by ensuring that our town centres are attractive places not just to work and socialise, but also to live.”