Councils urged to bid for £675m high street fund

Towns have been urged to bid for a share of a £675 million fund to transform struggling high streets into modern vibrant community hubs.

Towns have been invited to bid for the first phase of the Future High Streets fund, which according to the Government will help local leaders implement ‘bold new visions to transform their town centres’.

Towns bidding for the fund will be supported by the High Streets Task Force, which will be established in 2019 and will support local leadership.

Up to £55 million of the Fund has also been allocated to support the regeneration of ‘heritage high streets’.

Bids will help to restore historic high street properties for new work spaces or cultural venues.

The fund was created following a report by the chairman of shoe repair chain Timpson, Sir John Timpson, which warned a lack of ‘inspirational and forward-looking’ local leadership, planning issues and a shortage of specialist expertise in space design are contributing to failing town centres.

‘I am pleased that the government has acted on my panel’s recommendations to set up a Future High Streets Fund to help local leaders turn their plans into reality,’ said Sir John.

‘By helping our towns create their own individual community hub, I believe we will have vibrant town centres to provide a much-needed place for face to face contact in the digital age.’

High streets minister Jake Berry added: ‘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.’

Applications for Phase 1 of the Fund must be received by midnight on Friday 22 March, 2019. For more information, email







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