MINEHEAD is celebrating after being selected as just one of 29 towns nationwide to be supported by one of four big businesses to help transform the high street.

Charity Business in the Community (BITC), is behind the scheme. Minehead Vision Group – a partnership of organisations including Minehead Town Council, the Chamber of Trade, Minehead Development Trust, the Regal Theatre, and the voluntary and community sector, had just five days to turn around a bid to BITC.

The campaign, involving Boots, the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Santander, is focused on towns which demonstrate the need for support, have potential for growth and are served by business involved in the campaign.

The Co-operative will be supporting Minehead and a package tailoring the needs of the high street will be developed, as well as a local corporate leader who will help support the vision for the high street.

These new partnerships with business are aimed at helping towns to drive footfall, occupy vacant properties and ultimately create jobs.

Cllr Mandy Chilcott who chairs the Vision Group, said: “We all know Minehead is a fantastic place to live in or visit and it’s really great news that Minehead continues to be nationally recognised as worthy of support.

“The Group knows the importance of a vibrant and healthy high street, and hopes this support will help Minehead businesses thrive and grow in what we know are challenging times.”

Co-operative Estates’ managing director Martyn Hulme said: “I believe as a national organisation we have a wealth of expertise and knowledge we can bring to the fore at local level in support of local communities in which we trade.

“We’re encouraging our colleagues to engage with town partnerships and get stuck in and help find innovative solutions that will encourage increased footfall and business growth in high street locations across the UK.”