Fourteen of 20 pilot areas to receive tailored expert support to assist in rejuvenating their town centres have been revealed.
Last summer, the Government said that 101 areas would benefit from up to £25m each from the Future High Streets Fund, marking a £3.6bn investment in towns and high streets to help towns and high streets adapt and evolve while remain vibrant places for their community.
The High Streets Task Force will give face-to-face support, access to cutting-edge research, new online training, and local footfall data to give businesses that vital edge and transform local town centres.
The government is also providing additional funding to further support the 101 high streets announced over summer in planning for how to best use the £25m funding available to them.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick said: “Central to the mission of this new government is levelling up towns and regions, ensuring prosperity and opportunity are available to everyone. Over the course of 2020, we will invest hundreds of millions into projects to transform our town centres and support bespoke plans to meet the needs of individual local communities.”
LIFEBLOOD OF COMMUNITIES
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse Rt Hon Jake Berry said: “Every place has its own unique strengths and challenges, but all our town centres and high streets have one thing in common – they are the lifeblood of communities.
“The tailored support from our new High Streets Task Force and up to £25 million each from the Towns Fund for 100 places gives communities the money and support they need to unleash the potential of their towns.
“This people’s government is backing people across the Northern Powerhouse and every part of the UK to succeed no matter where they live.”
The announcements build on ongoing government action to support high streets, including cutting small retailers’ business rates bills by 50% from April.
The first 14 places to take part in the pilot are Birmingham, Stirchley; Cheshire West and Chester, Ellesmere Port town centre; Coventry, Coventry city centre; Croydon, Thornton Heath; Hartlepool, Hartlepool town centre; Hyndburn, Accrington town centre; Knowsley, Huyton town centre; Manchester, Withington district centre; Preston, Friargate; Rushmoor, Aldershot town centre; Salford, Swinton town centre; Sandwell, West Bromwich town centre; South Lakeland, Kendal; and Staffordshire Moorlands, Cheadle.