The Government has announced that it is inviting applications to a new £675 million “Future High Streets Fund”. Local Authorities can bid for grants of up to £25 million to transform their town centres and local high streets into modern vibrant community hubs.
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.
Applications to the Fund will need to fall under the following themes:
- Investment in physical infrastructure
- Acquisition and assembly of land including to support new housing, workspaces and public realm
- Improvements to transport access, traffic flow and circulation in the area
- Supporting change of use including (where appropriate) housing delivery and densification
- Supporting adaptation of the high street in response to changing technology
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.
The Fund will operate as a two-stage application process. Applications for Phase 1 calls for local authorities to submit Expressions of Interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22nd March 2019 setting out their challenges and strategic approach to regenerating town centres.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government will assess these and make an announcement on places moving forward to Phase 2 in summer 2019.