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Portsmouth shopping centres could be set for a multi-million pound boost to transform their fortunes.

Portsmouth City Council is preparing to submit funding bids to for the Commercial Road and Fratton Road areas to the government's Future High Street Fund.

The rules for the government fund allow Portsmouth to bid for up to two shopping areas but they have to be facing challenges from issues such as vacant shops, diversity of businesses, congestion, air quality and deprivation in the area.

Each area bid can be for up to £25m but the exact amount of money requested will be defined by the plans taken forward. The council has begun talking to businesses and community stakeholders to see what ideas they have to enhance the areas.

Commercial Road and Fratton Road were chosen because out of all of the shopping districts in the city they are facing the biggest challenges in the areas government wants to address, including the highest percentage of empty shops and both sitting in areas with air quality issues.

The council plans to bid for money for other areas in the city in future rounds of the fund.

Cllr Ben Dowling, the council's Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration & Economic Development, said: "I'm delighted we are preparing bids for both of these high streets. The high street in Fratton plays a key role for people in that area and improvements could really benefit the entire community while funding for Commercial Road can play a key role in our ongoing plans to rejuvenate the city's main shopping centre."