1. ITV Report

Empty shops boost in Wirral

Fake shop front mask empty stores Credit: ITV Granada

Empty shops on our high streets have sadly become something of a familiar sight. But one community in Wirral are reclaiming those gaps left behind by retailers by creating a neighbourhood centres instead. They'll provide things like after school clubs, healthy eating lessons and literacy courses.

The Net @ 68 Credit: ITV Granada

Wirral Council's Empty Shops Fund has supported the creation of 'The Net @ 68', on Clifton Avenue in Eastham. So far more than £100,000 has been invested in projects like this one in the area.

Cllr Pat Hackett, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing Strategy and Planning said: "The Empty Shops Fund has supported a wide variety of community projects, turning empty buildings into exciting new ventures."

The project was set up by the Reverend Beth Glover of St Mary's Church in Eastham. Reverend Glover added: "We asked the local community what they would like to see, and what would be most helpful to them in this revitalised space. Then we did what they told us.

"We are working with volunteers who are offering their services to teach visitors about healthy eating, and how to prepare their own soups and breads. We are also opening a foodbank to support local people who might be finding times difficult. We want this to be an inclusive, supportive space, and one that offers a huge amount."