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Party atmosphere in Dudley town centre

After last week's English Defence League protest, Dudley Council decided to open up the town centre today for an extra day of business.

A special fun day was held to encourage shoppers back to the centre by offering free parking and letting market stall holders trade free of charge.

Phil Brewster reports.


Dudley businesses given a boost after EDL protest

Many shops decided to shut during the protest to protect their business. Credit: ITV News Central

Dudley Council is holding a 'Fun Sunday' event to boost trade to businesses who lost customers last weekend, due to the EDL march in the town centre.

As part of its 'Love Your Community' campaign, Dudley Council is encouraging businesses to open today to make up for the disruption.

To celebrate the day, which coincides with half-term, the Council is putting on free children's entertainment, removing car parking charges and offering the market stalls free of charge.

The day will run from 11.00 am until 3.00 pm.

English Defence League members protesting last weekend. Credit: ITV News Central

It’s a real kick in the teeth when people from outside come here and disrupt local businesses.

We want to do what we can to help traders re-coup their losses.

– Councillor Pete Lowe


'Disappointment' at Government's rejection of Coventry Gateway plans

Coventry Airport. Credit: PA

The Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) says he's disappointed at the decision to reject plans for a new business development at Coventry Airport.

The plans for a major technology park on green belt land were put forward several years ago.

Supporters said the site would generate thousands of jobs, but local campaigners lodged strong objections.

After months of delays, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has rejected the application.

Sir Peter Rigby, founder, CEO and Chairman of the Rigby Group and Chairman of the CWLEP.

But campaigners who were against the development such as Mark Symes, are pleased with the decision to preserve the surrounding green belt land.

Mark Symes, Anti-development Campaigner.

Government blocks Coventry Gateway development

The multi-million pound Coventry Gateway development which would have created thousands of jobs has been rejected by the government.

There were plans to develop an area of 741 acres around Coventry Airport Credit: PA

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, turned down plans to develop the 700 acre site around Coventry Airport, that could have created up to 10,000 jobs.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway plans aimed to develop an area of 741 acres to the north, east and south of Coventry airport. Plans for the development included a major new technology and manufacturing and distribution park.

The decision has been criticised by Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment, Kevin Maton.

The scheme, put forward by Coventry and Warwickshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership had the potential to provide a real boost to the local economy, and I’m amazed the Minister couldn’t support the plans.

It’s particularly disappointing news, given that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable was in the area just yesterday talking about the vital role the region and Coventry engineering expertise played in the economy nationally.

This scheme would have helped support further development of this expertise while creating thousands of jobs.

– Cllr Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment

Meanwhile Geoffrey Robinson, the MP for Coventry North West, said: “I’m hugely disappointed by this decision.

"This development had the prospect of attracting thousands of jobs into our city, this is a real slap in the face for our City.”

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