A £95m regeneration fund will be spent improving ‘historic’ high streets and buildings, the government has announced.
The funding aims to ‘breathe new life’ into town centres and help struggling high streets adapt to changing consumer habits.
Last week, it was revealed that an average of 16 high street stores a day closed during the first half of 2019.
£21.1m of the fund will be allocated to the Midlands, £17.2m to the North East and Yorkshire, £18.7m to the North West, £14.3m to London and the South East and £13.7m to the South West.
This has then been broken down into 69 towns and cities who will share the pot to help stimulate commercial investment in high streets and complete essential repair works on historic buildings.
View the successful 69 locations via Historic England’s Google Map.
£40m will come from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund with £52m coming from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund.
£3m will be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a cultural programme to engage people in the life and history of their high streets.
Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: ‘Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.’
In May, the government announced £44m will be spent creating dozens of ‘High Streets Heritage Action Zones’, overseen by Historic England.
It will give councils, businesses and community groups access to expert advice and investment to bring historic buildings back into use and support historic high streets to adapt to the challenges they face.
Historic England’s chief executive, Duncan Wilson said: ‘Our high streets are the beating hearts of our communities.
‘Many have roots that go back hundreds of years. Their historic buildings and distinctive character tell the story of how our towns and cities have changed over time.
‘They are places where people come together to socialise, shop, run businesses and be part of their local community, but now they face an uncertain future.’
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