£675 million communities fund for high streets

Jake Berry has announced a £675 million Future High Streets fund to help create bold, new visions for town centres.

Towns across the country can now bid for a share of the government funding, allowing local leaders the opportunity to make their town centres and high streets fit for the future, improving transport and access into the centres and consolidating properties in that area.

£55 million of the funding will be specifically allocated for supporting the regeneration of 'heritage high streets', of which the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will announce further plans for soon.

Berry, the government's High Streets Minister, said: "We all know high streets are changing, we can’t hide from this reality. But we’re determined to ensure they continue sit at the heart of our communities for generations to come.

"To do this we have to support investment in infrastructure, boosting local economies and ensuring people are able to get the most out of their local high streets. Empowering leaders on the ground is key too – they best understand the challenges facing their areas. Our Future High Streets Fund will drive forward this change, transforming our town centres into the thriving community hubs of the future."

Following the recommendations of Sir John Timpson, the funding was originally announced as part of Chancellor Philip Hammond's October budget.

Martin Tett, of the Local Government Association, said of the funding: "Many councils throughout the country are already leading the way in transforming the future potential of their town centres in the face of unprecedented changes in shopping habits and the retail landscape.

“We are pleased that the government has acted by providing an injection of desperately-needed funding into revitalising our town centres, but it is important that the bidding process is kept proportionate and that councils have full flexibility over how this funding is spent as each place will require different solutions to their unique circumstances."

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