Billions of pounds in funding to be made available to improve UK high streets

Economy & Politics | National | Retail

Industry experts will join forces with local leaders initially in up to 20 areas across England to breathe new life into town centres – with the first 14 of these areas announced by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

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

The first 101 places to benefit from up to £25m each were announced over summer, today training and support for a further 14 places is being announced, with six more to follow in the pilot phase.

The places announced today will benefit from bespoke support and guidance from the new High Streets Task Force, announced by the government in response to recommendations of an expert panel on the high street chaired by Sir John Timpson.

The High Streets Task Force will give face-to-face support, access to cutting-edge research, new online training, and local footfall data to give businesses that vital edge and transform local town centres.

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 £25m funding available to them.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick said: “This government is investing £3.6bn in our great towns, including £1bn to help our high streets to adapt and evolve while remaining vibrant and safe places at the heart of our communities.

“Having announced the first 101 high streets that can benefit from £25m each back in the summer, I am announcing support from our new High Streets Task Force for a further 20 places and naming 14 of these today. The Task Force will provide the tools they need to get the best advice possible and a dashboard of key local data.

“Central to the mission of this new government is levelling up towns and regions, ensuring prosperity and opportunity are available to everyone. Over the course of 2020, we will invest hundreds of millions into projects to transform our town centres and support bespoke plans to meet the needs of individual local communities.”

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