Latest Public Sector News

02.01.19

New £700m government scheme to transform high streets and town centres

A £675m fund to transform high streets and town centres has been launched by high streets minister Jake Berry, with towns across the country urged to bid for a share of the funding.

The Future High Streets fund aims to revitalise local high streets and turn them into “modern vibrant community hubs,” with the scheme incorporating recommendations from Sir John Timpson, the chair of high street experts’ panel.

Around £55m will be spent on restoring historic buildings and putting them back into use, supporting the ‘heritage high streets.’

Announcing the new scheme, Berry said: “We all know high streets are changing, we can’t hide from this reality. But we’re determined to ensure they continue sit at the heart of our communities for generations to come.

“To do this we have to support investment in infrastructure, boosting local economies and ensuring people are able to get the most out of their local high streets. Empowering leaders on the ground is key too – they best understand the challenges facing their areas.”

He added: “Our Future High Streets Fund will drive forward this change, transforming our town centres into the thriving community hubs of the future.”

Places and towns bidding for the funding will be supported by the High Streets Task Force, which is set to be established in 2019 and will support local leadership.

Sir John commented: “I have learnt, from my own business, that the best way to get things done is to give people on the frontline the freedom to get on with the job in the way they know best.

“I am pleased that the government has acted on my panel’s recommendations to set up a Future High Streets Fund to help local leaders turn their plans into reality. By helping our towns create their own individual community hub, I believe we will have vibrant town centres to provide a much-needed place for face to face contact in the digital age.”

The government launched an inquiry in May last year, assessing the future role of the high street and town centre in 2030 and its contribution to the local economy.

Image credit - Anastasia Yakovleva

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