£675 million fund to transform high streets and town centres open to communities

Technology has changed our shopping habits.
Technology has changed our shopping habits.

Towns across the country are urged to bid for a share of £675 million to transform their local high streets into modern vibrant community hubs.

The Future High Streets fund which opened today (26 December) will help local leaders implement bold new visions to transform their town centres and make them fit for the future with co-funding to consolidate properties on the high street, improve transport and access into town centres and converting retail units into new homes.

At October’s Budget, in response to interim recommendations from Sir John Timpson, Chair of the Town Centres Expert Panel [LINK] the Chancellor announced £675 million Future High Street Fund as part of the Government’s Plan for the High Street.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP 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.”

Places 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. More details of this will be announced in due course.