Regeneration: Urban Areas

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking support the redesign and regeneration of the high street after the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Government appreciates that all high streets, big or small, are a crucial part of our communities and local economies, creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and injecting billions of pounds into our economy. We want to see fruitful hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time, and that includes a welcoming and safe night-time economy.

Government recognises that this is a challenging time for everyone in the country and COVID-19 is having a significant impact on our high streets and town centres. That is why we have provided a £330 biilion package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This support builds on an ongoing programme of initiatives put in place to support our high streets and town centres in the long term, including:

  • An accelerated £1 billion Future High Streets Fund as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund to support local areas in England to renew and reshape town centres and high streets;
  • The High Streets Task Force, supporting local leaders in their work revitalising their high streets and town centres by providing proactive support to local areas to develop data-driven innovative strategies and connect local areas to relevant experts;
  • Permitted development rights to support change of use on the high street.

On 25 May, government announced a new £50 million fund, Reopening High Streets Safely Fund. Councils across England will share the additional funding to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas. The money will allow local authorities to put in place additional measures to establish a safe trading environment for businesses and customers, particularly in high streets. Expenditure for reimbursement under this grant will be eligible from 1 June 2020 and the project will run to the end of March 2021. This funding comes on top of the Government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency.

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