More than 50 high street areas across the UK will receive up to £150,000 each to fund projects designed to improve access to town centres and help retailers to face up to the challenges created by an increase in online shopping.
From Whitehaven in Cumbria to Penzance in Cornwall, 50 areas are going through to the second phase of a multi-million fund designed to transform their high streets and make them fit for the future, High Streets Minister Jake Berry said.
The £675 million Future High Streets Fund will help local leaders to reinvent their town centres and improve conditions for retailers in town centres.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Our high streets lie at the heart of local communities – creating jobs, boosting the economy and helping small businesses thrive.
“But new technology and changes in the way we shop means they also face growing challenges, so I’m delighted over 50 towns will initially benefit from this scheme.
“The funding will breathe new life into town centres and – together with measures such as small business rate cuts and opening up empty shops – will transform our high streets for the future.”
Speaking ahead of a visit to Morecambe town centre, Mr Berry said:“High Streets are a crucial part of our local economies and people care about them because they are also the centres of their community.
“But we recognise that changing consumer behaviour and the rise of online shopping presents a significant challenge and that’s why we are taking action to help them evolve.
“Many of our high streets are successfully re-inventing themselves and with these new plans now in development, local leaders, who know their areas best, will be driving forward the transformation of their town centres into further great success stories.”
The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 as part of the government’s plan for the high street.