£830 million funding boost for high streets

  • The government will invest up to £830 million from the Future High Streets Fund
  • Investment will support areas to recover from the pandemic and help transform underused town centres into vibrant places to live, work and shop
  • Ambitious plans will help protect and create thousands of jobs as part of the levelling up agenda

In a major boost for local high streets, up to £830 million from the Future High Streets Fund will be invested in 72 areas across England, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced today (26 December 2020).

The funding will help these areas transform their high streets into vibrant hubs for future generations and to protect and create thousands of jobs.

In a key milestone for the government’s levelling up agenda, this investment will help areas to recover from the pandemic while also driving long term growth.

It will enable the delivery of ambitious regeneration plans, drawn up by places, and fund new local projects such as improvements to transport infrastructure, new homes and the transformation of underused spaces.

The funding will also help to protect and create thousands of jobs in a range of industries, delivering opportunities and prosperity to communities across England. Confirmed plans include:

  • £24.6 million to support the delivery of 186 new homes, road safety improvements and a permanent new space for the historic market in Birkenhead.
  • £17.9 million to boost Worcester town centre by renovating the Scala Theatre and Corn Exchange, transforming underused space to create new homes for first time buyers and improving connectivity.
  • £25 million for Swindon’s plans to modernise its town centre, including a new public transport hub and improved cycle and pedestrian routes.

This funding is part of wider support we’re providing to communities and businesses, to protect jobs, support the most vulnerable and ensure no one is left behind as we tackle the COVID-19 pandemic head on.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

The year ahead will be a big one for the high street as it seeks to recover, adapt and evolve as a result of the pandemic. Today’s £830 million investment from the Future High Streets Fund is one of many ways the government is working to help our much-loved town centres get through this and prosper into the future.

The role of high street has always evolved. We want to support that change and make sure that they are the beating heart of their local community – with high quality housing and leisure in addition to shops and restaurants.

This investment will help us build back better and make town centres a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

We are supporting our high streets to get through this pandemic through business grants, paying people’s wages and tax deferrals.

The Future High Streets Fund will help areas bounce back through regeneration projects that level up opportunities and create jobs right across the country.

The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of this government’s plan to renew and reshape town centres – making them a more attractive place to live, work and visit. £107 million of the Future High Streets Fund has been allocated to DCMS to support the regeneration of heritage high streets.

The Future High Streets Fund is just one of the ways the government is supporting the retail and hospitality sector. During the pandemic, we made it easier for areas to adapt to the challenges they faced.

This included making it easier to demolish and rebuild unused buildings to create homes with our High Street Homes Permitted Development Rights; providing restaurants, pubs and cafes with the freedom to offer takeaway services; and making it easier for businesses and communities to host markets and stalls so customers can be served safely.

In May we launched a fund to help councils reopen high streets safely and we recently announced that retailers will be able to extend their opening hours over the festive period to help keep shoppers and staff safe.

This month we extended protections from the threat of eviction for businesses unable to pay their rent until March 2021, taking the duration of these measures to one year.

Our recent proposals for the new Parking Code of Practice will support shoppers visiting their local high street by introducing a tiered approach to private car parking fines and ensuring a fair appeals process.

We are also reviewing the provision of public toilets to ensure that there are appropriate facilities for visitors to town centres.

Further information

Fifteen areas across England have been awarded a confirmed £255 million from the Future High Streets Fund. A further 57 areas have received a provisional funding offers totalling up to £576 million and we will be working with them to finalise their proposals.

The 15 places who are receiving full funding are:

  1. Tamworth Town Centre – Tamworth, £21,652,555
  2. Sunderland City Centre – Sunderland, £25,000,000
  3. Sutton – Sutton, £11,346,704
  4. Bishop Auckland – Durham, £19,856,853
  5. Blyth Town Centre – Northumberland, £11,121,059
  6. Kidderminster – Wyre Forest, £20,510,598
  7. Old Kent Road – Southwark, £9,605,854
  8. Swindon – Swindon, £25,000,000
  9. Stockport – Stockport, £14,500,000
  10. Winsford – Cheshire West and Chester, £9,980,000
  11. Sheffield High Street – Sheffield, £15,817,001
  12. Blackfriars, Northern City Centre – Worcester, £17,939,000
  13. Birkenhead – Wirral, £24,581,011
  14. Brierley Hill High Town Centre – Dudley, £9,985,689
  15. Stretford – Trafford, £17,605,674

The 57 places receiving provisional funding offers are:

  1. Leamington Town Spa, Warwick (Warwickshire) – £10,015,121
  2. Nuneaton Town Centre, Nuneaton and Bedworth (Warwickshire) – £13,362,736
  3. Wolverhampton City Centre – £15,760,196
  4. Walsall – £11,439,967
  5. Newcastle-Under-Lyme – £11,048,260
  6. Stafford – £14,377,723
  7. Tottenham, Haringey – £10,019,648
  8. Woolwich Town Centre, Greenwich – £17,150,964
  9. Wealdstone, Harrow – £7,448,583
  10. Putney Town Centre, Wandsworth – £1,058,706
  11. Elland Town Centre, Calderdale (West Yorkshire) – £6,310,812
  12. Northallerton, Hambleton (North Yorkshire) – £6,085,013
  13. Rotherham – £12,660,708
  14. Halifax – £11,762,823
  15. Barnsley Towns Centre – £15,624,456
  16. Scunthorpe – £10,675,323
  17. New Ferry, Wirral – £3,213,523
  18. Wigan – £16,633,691
  19. Crewe – £14,148,128
  20. Rochdale (Greater Manchester) – £17,080,458
  21. Farnworth, Bolton (Greater Manchester) – £13,306,817
  22. Oldham – £10,750,237
  23. Kirkham Town Centre, Fylde – £6,290,831
  24. Maryport Town Centre, Allerdale – £11,527,839
  25. Carlisle City Centre – £9,129,874
  26. Plymouth City Centre – £12,046,873
  27. Barnstable, North Devon – £6,548,876
  28. Newton Abbot, Teignbridge – £9,199,364
  29. Paignton, Torbay – £13,363,248
  30. Kingswood, South Gloucestershire – £12,555,464
  31. Salisbury City Centre – £9,355,731
  32. Penzance, Cornwall – £10,403, 112
  33. Trowbridge, Wiltshire – £16,347,056
  34. Yeovil – £9,756,897
  35. Taunton, Somerset – £13,962,981
  36. Loftus, Redcar and Cleveland – £5,833,628
  37. Middlesbrough Centre – £14,170,352
  38. Stockton – £16,543,812
  39. South Shields – £5,959,187
  40. Derby City Centre, St Peters Cross – £15,034,398
  41. Sutton-in-Ashfield (Nottinghamshire) – £6,279,872
  42. Grantham, South Kesteven (Lincolnshire) – £5,558,818
  43. Grimsby (North East Lincolnshire) – £17,280,917
  44. Nottingham City Centre, West End Point – £12,523,981
  45. Heanor, Amber Valley – £8,592,837
  46. Northampton – £8,442,730
  47. Buxton, High Peak – £6,608,223
  48. Dover Town Centre and Waterfront – £3,202,226
  49. Newhaven, Lewes – £5,004,939
  50. Chatham Town Centre, Medway – £9,497,720
  51. Ramsgate, Thanet – £2,704,213
  52. Commercial Road, Portsmouth (Hampshire) – £3,122,375
  53. Fratton, Portsmouth – £3,858,489
  54. High Wycombe – £11,886,876
  55. St Neots, Huntingdonshire – £3,748,815
  56. March High Street, Fenland – £6,447,129
  57. Great Yarmouth – £13,774,430

The outputs listed are locally reported and will undergo further quality assurance before being finalised and confirmed in grant offer letters.


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