Extra funding for high street regeneration

So called business improvement districts are a tried and tested town centre catalyst, used in towns and cities across the world, to raise fund for improvements to local trading areas. Their potential to successfully support town centres growth was outlined by Mary Portas in her review of High Streets.

The government is committed to support the business improvement district model for high street regeneration and this £500,000 fund will help communities who wish to create a business improvement district overcome prohibitive initial start-up costs.

The new High Streets Minister announced that British BIDs will run the loan fund scheme while on a visit to the successful Bedford Business Improvement District, where he was attending the third meeting of the Future High Street's Forum. The forum brings together leaders from across local government, retail, property and business to better understand the competition town centres across the country face and to drive forward new ideas and policies.

British BIDs will offer loans of up to £50,000 to communities and business groups with the potential to successfully establish a new business improvement district.

There are currently over 160 business improvement districts across the UK working on issues such as town centre safety, improvement of public realm, support for local traders and parking initiatives.

High Streets Minster Brandon Lewis said: "Local communities and local businesses know what works best in their area and business improvement districts help them to successfully raise they cash the need to re-energise their high street. Having experts like British BIDs manage our £500,000 loan fund will mean the right communities will be able to take advantage of this new support.

"This is just one of a wide range of measures the government has put in place to help the high street including doubling the amount small business and shops get in business rate relief so it now totals £900 million; cutting National Insurance and corporation tax; and encouraging local innovation and best practice through a range of projects like our 350 town teams."

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