Further funding and support for high streets announced

The first 14 of 20 pilot areas will receive tailored expert support to assist in rejuvenating their town centres.

  • The first 101 places to benefit from up to £25 million each from the Future High Streets Fund were announced over summer. In the latest step of our £3.6 billion investment in towns and high streets, 20 pilot areas across England will lead the way in rejuvenating town centres with expert and tailored support from the High Streets Task Force before this offer is rolled out across the country next year announced by the government in response to recommendations of an expert panel on the high street chaired by Sir John Timpson.
  • Today we announce 14 of these 20 pilot areas.
  • Over 2020, hundreds of millions of the £1 billion Future High Streets Fund will be invested across the country in projects emerging in the initial towns that have already been announced

Industry experts will join forces with local leaders initially in up to 20 areas across England with the first 14 of these areas announced by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick today (Monday 30 December). This programme of support is being piloted and the full offer from the High Streets Task Force will be rolled out across the country in 2020.

In July the £3.6 billion Towns Fund was announced, including the £1 billion High Streets Fund to help high streets adapt and evolve while remain vibrant places for their community.

Today training and support for a further 14 places is being announced, with six more to follow in the pilot phase.

The first fourteen places that will take part in the pilot are:

  1. Salford – Swinton Town centre
  2. Croydon – Thornton Heath
  3. Staffordshire Moorlands – Cheadle
  4. Rushmoor – Aldershot Town Centre
  5. Birmingham – Stirchley
  6. Hyndburn – Accrington Town Centre
  7. South Lakeland – Kendal
  8. Preston – Friargate
  9. Coventry – Coventry City Centre
  10. Hartlepool – Hartlepool Town Centre
  11. Cheshire West and Chester – Ellesmere Port Town Centre
  12. Sandwell – West Bromwich Town Centre
  13. Knowsley – Huyton Town Centre
  14. Manchester – Withington District Centre

The government is also providing additional funding to further support the 101 high streets announced over summer in planning for how to best use the £25 million funding available to them.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick said: “Central to the mission of this new government is levelling up towns and regions, ensuring prosperity and opportunity are available to everyone.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse Rt Hon Jake Berry said:  “This people’s government is backing people across the Northern Powerhouse and every part of the UK to succeed no matter where they live.

Today the government is also seeking views on whether an online register of commercial properties would make it easier to bring empty shops back into use.

Government wants to understand people’s experiences of leasing commercial property – with a view to making ownership of high street properties more transparent, making it easier for businesses and community groups to find space and supporting investment in local areas.

Today’s announcements build on ongoing government action to support high streets, including cutting small retailers’ business rates bills by 50% from April, following more than £13 billion of business rates support since 2016.”

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Simon Wright writes about infrastructure, construction and real estate finance.

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