Karen Bradley, Member of Parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands has welcomed the Government’s publication of the Future High Street Fund Call for Proposals.
The Government is committed to launching the Future High Streets Fund to provide co-funding towards improvements to town centre infrastructure, including increasing access to high streets, reducing congestion, supporting development around high streets and enabling housing and new workspaces to be created.
This is why Our Plan for the High Street was launched in the Autumn with a funding package of £675m.
Our Plan for the High Street includes action to:
• help smaller retailers by cutting their business rates by a third for two-years from April 2019;
• transform high streets with a £675m Future High Streets Fund to support local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future;
• unlock investment by reforming planning, including consulting on the ‘change of use’ regime, a further consultation on planning measures and trialling a register of empty commercial properties;
• support local leadership through a new High Streets Task Force, giving local areas access to expert advice needed to adapt and thrive; and
• strengthen community assets, restoring historic buildings that make our high streets special, supporting community groups to use empty properties, providing a 100% mandatory relief for public lavatories from April 2020 and continuing the £1,500 business rates discount for local newspapers on their office space in 2019-20.
“I am proud of our high streets and all our local shops and businesses in Staffordshire Moorlands but the way we shop and the way that communities use their high streets and town centres is changing so the Government’s recent publication of the Future High Streets Fund Call for Proposals is very good news indeed.”
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 22 March 2019 setting out their challenges and strategic approach to regenerating town centres.
These will be assessed and an announcement will be made on places moving forward to Phase 2 in summer 2019.
More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/future-high-streets-fund-call-for-proposals