BOROUGH businesses and community groups will be able to bid from a £167,000 pot to help breathe new life into town centres.

Dudley Council is drawing up a plan as part of its Love Your Community campaign to encourage residents and traders to help improve town centres and tackle the number of empty shops.

Individuals or groups will be able to apply for grants to fund projects such as tidying up problem areas, schemes to encourage businesses to take up empty shops and initiatives to bring more people into towns and local centres.

Councillor Judy Foster, Dudley's cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Working with the community is vital to our vision of creating vibrant and thriving town and local centres. As a community council, we are committed to involving people in any improvements we can make and for no town or local centre to be left behind.

“We are inviting people who love their community to bid for pots of money to fund their own schemes and innovative projects which will help rejuvenate town and local centres."

A £52,000 empty shops grant and £100,000 the authority received under the High Street Innovation Fund will help to fund the project which will be considered by the council's cabinet on Wednesday February 12.

If approved, money for initiatives will be available to community groups or organisations through the borough's ten community forums.

The cash is in addition to usual capital allocations funding available to community groups through the forums.