THE prospective Labour candidate for the Tees Valley Mayor has pledged to revive the High Street as part of her campaign for office.

Prospective Tees Valley Mayoral Candidate Jessie Joe Jacobs said her pledge would be helped by Labour’s plans to make more use of empty shops.

Ms Jacobs, who is the former chief executive of A Way Out, a charity which aims to tackle and prevent harm to woman and young people, said “remoulding” the High Street was one of her main aims.

She said: “Empty shop units are an increasingly common sight on our high street.

“I fully support Labour’s exciting proposals to revitalise our high streets.

“It is clear action is urgently needed to avoid our high streets becoming a relic of a golden age of retail.

“We need to think big by looking at new ideas to deliver a high street offer that reflects modern society and modern retail.”

In July, Ms Jacobs announced she was running to try and replace current Conservative Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen in next year’s Tees Valley Mayor elections.

She said: “One of my main aims as Mayor would be to remould our high streets so that both social and commercial needs are catered for.

“My plans will be greatly helped by obtaining powers that facilitate the actions we will need to take to make these changes.

“I would also be able to support these start-ups and community projects as Mayor due to my own vast experience in founding a successful charity and working on town regeneration projects like Stockton Town Team and I Love Stockton me.”

The Labour Party’s current leader, Jeremy Corbyn announced this week that a Labour government would give local authorities the powers to acquire empty shop units from private landlords.

He said commercial properties that had been vacant for more than 12 months, would be offered to start-ups, cooperative businesses and community projects.

Ms Jacobs said: “I look forward to working alongside our local authorities to deliver a high street that we can be proud of – I welcome the policy announcements from my party which will greatly help me deliver on this vision.”

Following her announcement for candidacy, she said she wanted to create a "people's manifesto" and planned to hold meetings across the Tees Valley to meet with residents and find out what they would like her to deliver.