As the country starts to open up again, thanks to the easing of lockdown restrictions, high streets in England are set to see a funding boost.
The Future High Streets Fund will see money for improved transport links, more new homes and the transformation of underused spaces.
In total, 72 English high streets, from Penzance to South Shields, will share more than £830 million. As cinemas, pubs, bowling alleys and more open up, the funding will look to provide a much-needed boost for towns as they safely welcome shoppers and visitors back to their high streets.
The funding is part of the UK Government’s plan to protect, support and create thousands of jobs in a range of industries, delivering opportunities and prosperity to communities in England.
Confirmed investment plans include:
- £17.28 million for Grimsby to create a new multiplex cinema and market food hall to boost visitor numbers to the town centre. A new public square and events space will also be created, bringing more vitality and buzz to the high street.
- £13.96 million for Taunton to build new homes, business spaces and hospitality venues, as well as an outdoor performance venue for events to boost visitor numbers.
- £6.28 million for Sutton-in-Ashfield for the refurbishment of the Sutton Academy theatre space and repurposing of vacant retail space into offices and hospitality venues. A new pop-up food and events space as well as better pedestrian links will encourage more local people to visit the town centre for special events and festivals.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This funding is part of wider support we are providing to communities and businesses to protect jobs, support the most vulnerable and ensure no one is left behind as we recover from the pandemic.
“This investment will make a huge difference to towns and cities across England and help them transform themselves into desired places to shop, visit, live and work.
“The Future High Streets Fund will support towns, communities and businesses as we get back to enjoying the best of what the high street has to offer.”
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