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13.07.20

Blackpool bids for £25m Future High Streets Fund

Blackpool Council has bid for up to £25m of the Government’s £1bn Future High Streets Fund, to support the next phase of its Town Centre Regeneration Strategy.

The town is one of 100 that has been shortlisted to use the Fund to reinvent their high street, through transport improvements, enhanced public spaces, smart technology and bringing new life to empty retail units.

Originally set to transform 50 local areas, the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) announced in August 2019 that it was going to include a further 50 areas, one of which was Blackpool.

Across the town, 11 projects have been outlined to tackle some of the greatest challenges faced and drive economic growth, more sustainable jobs and improved living standards.

Schemes include an extension to the shopping centre, major office development, Adelaide Street Transport Hub, development of an innovation partnership and improved digital infrastructure.

The 11 schemes amount to a £25m ask from the FHSF with public co-funding of £18.4m and £16.1m in private funding.

Independent Chair of the Future High Streets Fund, Peter Cole, said:

“The town centre is at the heart of our community and we need to ensure it remains an attractive place where people want to be, to enjoy, to shop, to work and in the future live, ensuring businesses grow and thrive. Our plans are ambitious but ambition and innovation is what keeps Blackpool strong, resilient and willing to evolve.”

“The additional funding and help from government is desperately needed for our high street, now more than ever, as we start to recover from the current pandemic. If we are successful in securing funding then with the involvement of the community considerable more work is required to deliver these, but we are confident that the proposals will attract new business, boost local growth and create new jobs, and combined with the other major projects underway, secure the long term prosperity of the town.”

The final bid will be submitted this month and a decision is expected to be given by Autumn.

LISTEN: Ep. 21 - Isle of Wight fighting Covid-19 with the digital edge - Cllr Dave Stewart 

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