HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc768-9W
Mr. Peter Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the strategy for the regeneration of town centres. [123783]

Mr. Spellar

The Department for Social Development is preparing a Town Centre Reinvigoration Strategy which will aim to create attractive and distinctive town centres that will be a source of civic pride, accessible to all and the location for a wide range of retail, service, administrative, residential, leisure and cultural facilities for surrounding urban and rural communities. The Strategy will address this aim byimproving the co-ordination of public policies that impact on town centres; offering incentives that will stimulate development in town centres; and putting in place the administrative arrangements that will make sure the policies and incentives actually deliver better town centres.

The Strategy will be part of a comprehensive approach to regeneration that also aims to renew the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods and increase social cohesion. To this end, the town centre reinvigoration strategy will be closely linked to the Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal, which was published on 24 June 2003.

The Department for Social Development has set a target of publishing the Town Centre Reinvigoration Strategy by March 2004.