A NEW £2 million scheme has been launched to breathe life into town centres.

The High Street Support Scheme will provide grant funding for existing businesses and support new businesses to set up in our town centres and create jobs around the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council area.

One company bidding for funding is Redcar-based The Junction Foundation, which works with young people to improve employment prospects and independence.

Lawrence McAnelly, chief executive of The Junction Foundation, said: "Now we can really focus on the future, creating opportunities for young people and the support of a High Street Support Scheme grant will really help us to realise our ambitions for young people."

Councillor Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, added: “We know high streets need support all over the country so we’re committed to supporting ours to thrive.

“The High Street Support Scheme will provide vital help for our businesses throughout the Borough by providing match-funded grants to carry out physical improvements to business premises in our town centres.

“Any local shop or business looking to improve security, fittings or make the outside look more appealing should get in touch and see how we can help.”

Businesses interested in lodging an expression of interest should call Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Economic Growth Service on 01642 444494 or email: placeinvestment@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk.