UK high streets to get money from £95m government scheme
Millions of pounds of government funding will give 68 historic high streets across England a new lease of life to counteract the devastating effects of the coronavirus crisis.
Historic England, a public body aiming to preserve “England’s historic environment”, has secured £95 million from the government’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme to transform and restore disused and dilapidated buildings into new homes, shops, work places and community spaces.
The project is being delivered in collaboration with local authorities to help high streets recover from declining footfall.
“High streets sit at the heart of our communities and every part of the country deserves to have one they can be proud of. This fund will help breathe new life into high streets in towns and cities across the country - restoring them to their full glory so that they are beautiful places for people to shop, work and enjoy,” said Oliver Downde, Culture Secretary.
High Streets Minister Kelly Tolhurst added: “This new funding will help to transform and restore historic buildings, creating new homes, shops and community spaces, and reinvigorating local high streets up and down the country.”
The programme will support high streets across all of England, including London’s Tottenham, Harlesden, Woolwich, Tower Hamlets and Croydon areas.
According to Historic England, about 48% of the nation’s retail units were built before 1919 and the fact that many of these historic buildings are sitting vacant is undermining the character and viability of the high street.
The recovery fund is financed with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund and £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund. A further £3 million is provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a cultural programme.
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