Women spearhead rebirth of the post-crunch high street

Fashion designer Bo Carter at her Leeds boutique
Fashion designer Bo Carter at her Leeds boutique
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New small businesses are vital to our town and city centres.

THERE has been concern for some time over the future of the high street, with the recession leading to a growing number of gaps where shops should be.

But perhaps a saviour has now appeared in the shape of former accountant Bo Carter.

Not that Bo herself is likely to single-handedly lead a resurgence of the traditional British high street, but she and scores of other women just like her are showing a formula for success.

Five years ago, Bo was an accountant employed by the NHS to work out whether its departments’ budgets were on track. Today she sells her own clothes designs from her shop the Bo Carter Boutique on Briggate.

She is part of a phenomenon that has seen a dramatic rise in the number of retail-savvy women starting their own businesses on the country’s high streets.

Just under half the shops launched since the crash of 2008 are led by women, compared with just a quarter 20 years ago.

Town and city centres look a lot different today than they did five years ago. And while high-profile schemes such as Trinity and the forthcoming Victoria Gate development are a big draw for shoppers, small businesses such as Bo’s are also vital to the long-terms health of our key shopping areas.

As such, they should be given every ounce of support they need to flourish.

YEP panel will give youngsters a voice

GIVEN Leeds’s aim to become a child-friendly city, it’s important that its youngsters are given a voice.

So that’s exactly what the YEP is doing with the launch today of our special Children’s Panel.

Aged nine to 13 and from schools across the city, the youngsters will give their take on breaking news stories and provide an insight into the issues that matter most to them and their friends.

If Leeds is to turn itself into a city that offers the best opportunities and facilities for its young people then it’s important to view things from their perspective.

We look forward to hearing what they have to say.

First buses.

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