The government's healthy eating Change4Life scheme has now gone national, but retailers signing up in the future are unlikely to receive the same level of support as those involved in the North East pilot.

Stores in the North East benefited from an £800,000 government grant over three years to match funding from suppliers and pay for chiller cabinets, stands and promotional materials, but no commitment has been made to additional public investment in the national rollout.

Announcing the extension, Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham said: "The Department of Health will continue to support a number of shops in less well off areas where fruit and vegetables are less easily available, providing fridges to help keep stock fresh."

Stores in other areas are expected to receive only advice and promotional materials.

The scheme has been supported throughout by the ACS as well as a number of key symbol groups including Costcutter, Landmark and Nisa-Today's.

Nisa-Today's group symbol director John Heagney said he remained positive. "We've had a great response to the campaign so far in the North East and the early signs for the national rollout are good," he said.

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