CALLS have been made for large firms to dig deep and help a Portsmouth shopping area thrive.
Penny Mordaunt believes London Road in North End, would be given a huge boost if companies used cash from their community budgets to pay for improvements.
Large corporations have ‘corporate social responsibility’ accounts as part of their duty to improve the areas where they are based.
The Portsmouth North MP has contacted businesses in North End to see if they would chip in for improvements – and those who have responded say they’re open to providing help.
Nationwide responded saying it is looking to pour millions of pounds into communities by 2017.
A Nationwide spokesman said: ‘We have supported thousands of charities and community projects across the UK and expect to unlock £15m into local communities by 2017.’
Sainsbury’s added it was ‘always looking at opportunities to invest further’ in its store and the area.
But Vision Express told The News it already made a ‘significant investment’ last year completely refurbishing its North End store.
It comes after Ms Mordaunt called for a package of benefits for the area.
She wants street wardens introduced to tackle street drinking and petty crime.
And she also wants cultural opportunities and a ‘click and collect’ hub being created as well as wifi.
‘These companies all have corporate social responsibility budgets, and it would be great to have that directed through a traders’ association,’ she said.
‘I think the council will also invest and I’m hopeful the Local Enterprise Partnership will look at the area’s high street as a growth opportunity too.’
The city council is seeking to spend £100,000 on city district shopping areas like North End.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader, believes Ms Mordaunt should be pushing for the government to provide funds.
‘The simple thing would be if the government could give councils a bit more money to help,’ he said.
‘The government has cut funding for this council by £14m this year.’
He added: ‘Maybe the government should have a social responsibility budget as well.’