The widespread phenomenon of declining of high streets and city centres in the UK has secured growing attention in the last few years as changing shopping patterns have impacted on their function. The rise of online retail and people making fewer large shopping trips has seen many town and city centres face growing vacancy levels and significant loss of footfall. The loss of established national retailers widely publicised. PWC reported a record net 2,481 stores disappeared from Great Britain’s top 500 high streets in 2018. The role and function high streets play is therefore having to evolve.
Launched as part of Our Plan for the High Street, the Future High Streets Fund is designed help local areas respond and adapt to changes, supporting the renewal of high streets across the country. MHCLG guidance states objective of the fund is to: “renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability”. The fund can support local areas to prepare long-term strategies for their areas and to co-fund projects.
On the 5th July the Government released the shortlist of 50 schemes, which have been progressed to the next stage of bidding for the £675m Future High Streets Fund. We were pleased to see one of the Stage 1 applications we supported make the shortlist. Each area shortlisted in Stage 1 will now receive up to £150,000 to work up detailed project proposals, based on their initial plans. Funding decisions will be based on project plans and business cases. These business cases will be assessed in accordance with departmental and HM Treasury Green Book appraisal methodologies and criteria.
ekosgen has a wealth of knowledge and experience in economic development and regeneration as well as producing successful Green Book compliant five case business cases that have helped clients secure public sector funding for transformational projects across the country. Our team is available to support schemes through the next stage of the fund.
For more information, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 644 3023