£1bn High Street fund extended to 100 towns
Written by Hannah McGrath
The government has announced that an additional 50 towns will benefit from a £1 billion fund aimed at reviving Britain’s High Streets.
Prime minister Boris Johnson stated that the Future High Streets Fund will be extended to towns including Dudley, Dover, Scarborough and Stockport.
The additional towns come on top of 50 areas which have already been shortlisted to develop plans to reinvent their High Streets.
The funding could be used by these areas to improve transport and access into town centres, convert empty retail units into new homes and workplaces, and invest in vital infrastructure.
The extension to the shortlist comes on the back of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund announced last month, which included an additional £325 million for the Future High Streets Fund, taking the overall fund to £1 billion.
Johnson said: “Our high streets are right at the heart of our communities, and I will do everything I can to make sure they remain vibrant places where people want to go, meet and spend their money.
“But with our town centres facing challenges, we’re today expanding the High Streets Fund to support over 100 high streets to regenerate – backed by £1 billion of vital investment.”
Successful candidates will progress to the second phase of the Future High Streets Fund and receive up to £150,000 to support the development of detailed project proposals that can be submitted for capital funding.
The scheme was launched in December 2018.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Through the planning system we are helping to support changes to high streets, making it easier for them to adapt, with a wider range of retail, residential and other uses.
“The Open Doors pilot in five town centres is bringing empty shops back into use, by opening these to community groups who are offering services to the most vulnerable in our communities.”