Recently, the Prime Minister expanded the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), confirming that another 50 towns in England will be given a share of £1 billion to reenergise their high streets.
This additional funding is part of the Prime Minister’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund announced last month which will ensure that towns are getting the improved transport and the improved broadband connectivity that they need to boost local growth and create more jobs.
It is great news that Cinderford is one step closer to receiving a share of this £1 billion.
Having personally supported Cinderford’s application, I was very happy to hear that their bid stood out in an initial selection of over 300 other local authorities who expressed interest in the scheme.
The FHSF provides capital funding for local authorities to invest in infrastructure, housing and work spaces. These projects are designed to transform our high streets and town centres, bringing long-term economic benefits to local communities and businesses.
To get this far, Cinderford’s strategy for improvement has been seen to have the potential to increase footfall and business opportunities through the renewal of existing infrastructure and an improvement in connectivity and transport offers.
The next phase requires Cinderford to submit a full business case to the FHSF. To help with the development of a compelling business case, Cinderford will receive a grant of up to £150,000 from the Government.
A High Streets Task Force will also be set up to provide hands-on support to develop data-driven, innovative strategies, provide training and connect local areas to relevant experts. This further assistance will be a great help with putting a strong business case together.
It is a great achievement to have made it into this phase of the FHSF. It demonstrates high-quality planning and application, and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone else involved in constructing the bid.
To maximise Cinderford’s success moving forward, I will continue to liaise closely with local stakeholders to ensure that the best possible business case is put forward.
As Boris Johnson said, high streets are at the heart of our communities, and we must do everything we can to keep them vibrant.