A further 57 English high streets are to receive a share of government funding to improve transport links, build new homes and transform underused spaces, bringing to 72 the number which will share over £830 million to help them reopen and recover from the pandemic.
More high streets will receive new money to improve transport links, build new homes and transform underused spaces in what is claimed to be a key milestone for the government’s levelling up agenda, and 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:
- £17.28 million for Grimsby will create a new multiplex cinema and market food hall, which hopes to boost visitor numbers to the town centre (artist's impression above). A new public square and events space will be created bringing more vitality and buzz to the high street.
- £13.96 million 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.
- £6.28 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 Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 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 pandemic.
This investment will make a huge difference to towns and cities across England and transform themselves in 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 this government’s plan to renew and reshape town centres – making them a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Jenrick claimed the government's package of support to high streets was now a multi-dimensional set of initiatives, including:
- The Welcome Back Fund launched in March 2021 to help councils boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups – giving people more safer options to reunite with friends and relatives throughout the summer.
- The High Street Homes Permitted Development Rights making it easier for disused buildings to be repurposed and provide housing.
- Providing restaurants, pubs and cafes with the freedom to offer takeaway services; and making it easier for businesses and communities to host markets and stalls so customers can be served safely.
- A package of support to businesses and communities, with over £35 billion in financial support since the start of the pandemic.
- Through the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, the £220 million Community Renewal Fund and the £3.6 billion Towns Fund the government is investing in long-term infrastructure projects to level up our towns and rural areas and ensure the vitality of our town centres for years to come.
- A response to the Parking Code Framework intended to curb unfair tickets and tackle cowboy parking firms through a new, simplified appeals process.
The 57 places awarded funding are:
- Leamington Town Spa, Warwick (Warwickshire) – £10,015,121
- Nuneaton Town Centre, Nuneaton and Bedworth (Warwickshire) – £13,331,637
- Wolverhampton City Centre – £15,760,196
- Walsall – £11,439,967
- Newcastle-Under-Lyme – £11,048,260
- Stafford – £14,377,723
- Tottenham, Haringey – £10,019,647
- Woolwich Town Centre, Greenwich – £17,150,964
- Wealdstone, Harrow – £7,448,583
- Putney Town Centre, Wandsworth – £1,058,706
- Elland Town Centre, Calderdale (West Yorkshire) – £6,310,812
- Northallerton, Hambleton (North Yorkshire) – £6,085,013
- Rotherham – £12,660,708
- Halifax – £11,762,823
- Barnsley Town Centre – £15,624,456
- Scunthorpe – £10,675,323
- New Ferry, Wirral – £3,213,523
- Wigan – £16,633,692
- Crewe – £14,148,128
- Rochdale (Greater Manchester) – £17,080,457
- Farnworth, Bolton (Greater Manchester) – £13,276,817
- Oldham – £10,750,179
- Kirkham Town Centre, Fylde – £6,290,831
- Maryport Town Centre, Allerdale – £11,527,839
- Carlisle City Centre – £9,124,606
- Plymouth City Centre – £12,046,873
- Barnstaple, North Devon – £6,548,876
- Newton Abbot, Teignbridge – £9,025,771
- Paignton, Torbay – £13,363,248
- Kingswood, South Gloucestershire – £12,555,464
- Salisbury City Centre – £9,355,301
- Penzance, Cornwall – £10,403,112
- Trowbridge, Wiltshire – £16,347,056
- Yeovil – £9,756,897
- Taunton, Somerset – £13,962,981
- Loftus, Redcar and Cleveland – £5,833,526
- Middlesbrough Centre – £14,170,352
- Stockton – £16,543,812
- South Shields – £5,959,187
- Derby City Centre, St Peters Cross – £15,034,000
- Sutton-in-Ashfield (Nottinghamshire) – £6,279,871
- Grantham, South Kesteven (Lincolnshire) – £5,556,042
- Grimsby (North East Lincolnshire) – £17,280,917
- Nottingham City Centre, West End Point – £12,523,981
- Heanor, Amber Valley – £8,592,837
- Northampton – £8,427,625
- Buxton, High Peak – £6,608,222
- Dover Town Centre and Waterfront – £3,196,497
- Newhaven, Lewes – £5,004,938
- Chatham Town Centre, Medway – £9,497,720
- Ramsgate, Thanet – £2,704,213
- Commercial Road, Portsmouth – £3,122,375
- Fratton, Portsmouth – £3,858,489
- High Wycombe – £11,779,904
- St Neots, Huntingdonshire – £3,748,815
- March High Street, Fenland – £6,447,129
- Great Yarmouth – £13,774,430