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14 areas to receive funding for high streets

Words: Laura Edgar
Kendal / Shutterstock_1184849596

The government has announced the first 14 of 20 pilot areas in England that will receive funding and tailored advice that aims to ‘rejuvenate’ town centres.

The High Streets Task Force will work with the towns.

The first 101 places that will benefit from up to £25 million each were named last summer. These next 14 towns are also part of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund, which invests in towns and high streets.

The first 14 places that will take part in the pilot are:

  • Salford - Swinton Town centre
  • Croydon - Thornton Heath
  • Staffordshire Moorlands - Cheadle
  • Rushmoor - Aldershot Town Centre
  • Birmingham - Stirchley
  • Hyndburn – Accrington Town Centre
  • South Lakeland - Kendal
  • Preston - Friargate
  • Coventry - Coventry City Centre
  • Hartlepool - Hartlepool Town Centre
  • Cheshire West and Chester - Ellesmere Port Town Centre
  • Sandwell - West Bromwich Town Centre
  • Knowsley - Huyton Town Centre
  • Manchester - Withington District Centre

The High Streets Task Force was formed by the government in response to recommendations made by an expert panel on the high street chaired by Sir John Timpson.

The government said the High Streets Task Force would give face-to-face support, access to “cutting-edge” research, new online training, and local footfall data to give businesses an edge in transforming town centres.

Additional funding would also be provided 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 Robert Jenrick said: “Having announced the first 101 high streets that can benefit from £25 million 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.”

As part of its work to improve town centres, the government is seeking views on whether an online register of commercial properties would make it easier to bring empty shops back into use. It wants to understand people’s experiences of leasing commercial property, with the view to making ownership of high street properties more transparent. The survey on this survey can be found on the UK Government website.

Read more:

Local leadership is key to reinventing town centres

RTPI announced as a member of the High Streets Task Force

100 towns to benefit from funding

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