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Funding unveiled to help historic high streets recover

Words: Huw Morris

High streets across England are to receive £95 million under government funding delivered through Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone Initiative.

The funding, which is designed to restore buildings that have fallen into disrepair, will be awarded to 68 areas.

The move also is also aimed at helping historic high streets to recover from declining footfall and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the initiative, local authorities will lead partnerships on schemes to create new homes, shops, work places and community spaces, which will restore local historic character and improve the public realm.

Historic England said up to 48 per cent of retail stock was built before 1919, and “the loss of business occupiers in these historic buildings is placing them at risk and undermining the character, local identity and viability of the high street”.

The initiative comprises £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund and £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund.

Another £3 million will be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a cultural programme. A list of the high streets benefiting from the funding is available here.

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