Winchester high street

High streets set for £830m funding boost as reopening accelerates

Over 70 high streets across England will receive over £830m to improve transport links, build new homes and transform underused spaces in a key milestone for the government’s levelling up agenda.

In total, 72 English high streets, from South Shields to Penzance, will share the Future High Streets funding, with 57 of these areas being announced so far.

As indoor pubs, cinemas, bowling alleys and more opened up on 17 May due to restrictions easing, the government said the funding will 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 government’s plan to protect, support and create thousands of jobs in a range of industries, delivering opportunities and prosperity to communities across England.

Confirmed plans include:

  • £17.28m for Grimsby will create a new multiplex cinema and market food hall, which hopes to boost visitor numbers to the town centre. A new public square and events space will be created bringing more vitality and buzz to the high street.
  • £13.96m investment for Taunton to build new homes, business spaces and hospitality venues, as well as an outdoor performance venue for events to boost visitor numbers.
  • £6.28m 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.

Commenting, 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 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.

The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of the government’s plan to renew and reshape town centres, making them a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

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