Government Offer Historic High Streets Hope Of Revival
In a bid to quieten the voices claiming that the UK high street is dying, the Government has promised a £95 million cash injection to help revitalise 69 historic high streets.
The funding will help redevelop and re purpose empty and underused buildings in locations like Plymouth, Scarborough, Wigan and London. Planning will ensure that additional offices, retail outlets, housing and creative spaces are implemented into areas around the 69 high streets, revitalising the buildings and offering something to encourage more people to return.
Repair works of historic buildings and promoting the restoration of original features like shop-fronts and facades will be a key feature of the funding’s design objectives.
The Government would like to see historic buildings become community hubs by developing education projects and stimulating commercial investment.
£40 million will be taken from the Department for Media Culture and Sport through the Heritage High Street Fund whilst £52 million worth of investment will be made by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund.
Nicky Morgan, Culture Secretary, said:
“Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.
“It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.
“This £95 million will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit.”
Robert Jenrick, Communities Secretary of State, said:
“I want to make sure the nation’s high streets continue to be at the heart of local communities. Today’s funding, part of the £3.6 billion we have committed to helping towns across the country, will revitalise much-loved historic buildings, helping to reverse the decline of our town centres. Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in our biggest cities, is a priority of this Government in our mission to ‘level up’ the regions.”
Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer, commented:
“We are doubling funding to nearly £100 million to revitalise our heritage high streets, ensuring they remain at the heart of our communities for years to come. This will help places across the country – from South Norwood to Scarborough – protect their treasured historic buildings and support local economies to thrive.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:
“Our high streets are the beating hearts of our communities. Many have roots that go back hundreds of years. Their historic buildings and distinctive character tell the story of how our towns and cities have changed over time. They are places where people come together to socialise, shop, run businesses and be part of their local community, but now they face an uncertain future.
“Through physical improvements and cultural activities, we will work with partners to find new ways to regenerate our high streets. It is a challenge, but with our experience and track record, as well as the knowledge and passion of local councils, businesses and community groups our historic high streets can be thriving social hubs once more.”