To support UK town centres to recover from the pandemic and deliver ambitious regeneration plans, the Government has outlined £830m funding from its Future High Street Fund. Of the 72 areas in England set to receive funding, the North West, South West and West Midlands will benefit from the most financial support.
By contrast, traditionally well-funded regions in London and the South East are among the lowest regional sums of funding awarded.
This both highlights the greater identified need in these traditionally less economically developed areas, but also the Government commitment to its levelling up agenda.
A total of 72 areas have been awarded funding, with 15 areas having received an immediate share of £255m of confirmed funding, while the remaining 57 areas receive amounts from a further pot of provisional funding, awarded this week.
Of those areas with their funding confirmed, 11 of the 15 come from either the North East, North West or West Midlands regions of the UK.
The North West and South West of England featured the highest number of individual awards per region, with 13 and 11 respectively, while the East of England saw just three funding awards under the fund.
The full regional breakdown of the funding pot sits at:
- London: £56.6m (across 6 awards)
- South East: £39.3m (across 7 awards)
- South West: £138.5m (across 11 awards)
- East of England: £24.0m (across 3 awards)
- East Midlands: £63.0m (across 7 awards)
- West Midlands: £146.1m (across 10 awards)
- Yorkshire and the Humber: £96.2m (across 8 awards)
- North East: £98.5m (across 7 awards)
- North West: £168.7m (across 13 awards)
At the time of the funding's original announcement, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The year ahead will be a big one for the high street as it seeks to recover, adapt and evolve as a result of the pandemic.
“Today’s £830m investment from the Future High Streets Fund is one of many ways the government is working to help our much-loved town centres get through this and prosper into the future.
“The role of high street has always evolved. We want to support that change and make sure that they are the beating heart of their local community – with high quality housing and leisure in addition to shops and restaurants.
“This investment will help us build back better and make town centres a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”