The Government is committed to supporting healthy and vibrant high streets. Since 2010, the Government has given over £18 million to towns – funding and up skilling local teams of people through the Town Team programme, boosting struggling town centres with the High Streets Innovation Fund and launching successful initiatives such as “Love your Local Market”. We have also issued guidance on digital high streets and how businesses can adapt to the latest technology.
In addition to the Government providing over £1.4 billion in business rates support, the review of Business Rates is underway for a rates system that properly reflects the structure of a modern economy. We have also introduced parking reforms including a mandatory 10 minute “grace period” at the end of on-street free and paid parking because good and affordable parking provision can play an important role in rejuvenating high streets and town centres.
The Great British High Street Awards, now in its second year, is in full swing and is currently open for entries, with the deadline extended to 1 September. Winners across the seven categories (London; City; Town centre; Market town; Coastal community; Local centre; Village) share a cash prize, but more importantly, receive mentoring and support such as free training to develop digital skills for local businesses. We have also introduced a new Rising Star award which will recognise entries that have taken great steps towards making their high street a better place.