Shopkeepers in Wealden district are being urged to apply for a council grant designed to protect rural stores.

Wealden District Council is offering cash to help local shops fight off competition from superstores by offering new product lines.

A council spokesman said: "It is important that we support our local village shops to help them provide the sort of service that supermarkets and internet shopping are unable to give and the grant available will help to go someway towards supporting the local economy."

Tuesday September 23, 2003