The government has launched a £675 million Future High Streets Fund.
As part of a series of measures laid out by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Budget, in excess of £1.5 billion has been set aside to support Britain’s high streets.
The Future High Streets Fund comprises of the majority of this investment, and will help with the redevelopment of empty shops as homes and offices, restoring and re-using old and historic properties.
Transport links will also be improved, thanks to the fund, and those local areas that wish to benefit from the Future High Streets Fund will be asked to provide proposals regarding the overall vision they wish to achieve for their high street, towns or city centres, along with the specific improvements that will contribute to this vision.
The Chancellor said this fund will “invest in town centre infrastructure, including to increase access to high streets and support redevelopment and densification around high streets.
“It will include £55 million for heritage-based regeneration, restoring historic high streets to boost retail and bring properties back into use as homes, offices and cultural venues.”
Transport and safety measures associated with it will be important too; it is thought almost 400,000 new homes could be created by making use of the empty spaces on Britain’s high streets.
This, added to the hope that more businesses will be attracted into high streets, means that footfall will increase.
Therefore, it will be important to ensure safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is secured.
Others have supported the government’s decision to allocate this funding; Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “It is important that the Chancellor has recognised the importance of investing in our high streets.
“The government should be applauded for its ambition to safeguard the life of our high streets.”