£95 million will be invested to breathe new life into historic buildings and towns across England
England’s ailing high streets are set to be revitalised after the Government announced a new heritage boost to restore historic buildings in a bid to stimulate new commercial investment.
A total of £95 million will be injected into 69 high streets to enable high streets to adapt to changes in consumer spending habits by transforming historic buildings and areas in towns and cities across the country.
The money is being sourced between the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund (£40m), The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (£52m), and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (£3m).
Support will be given for cultural programmes to engage people and communities with the history of their high streets, by turning vacant buildings into new creative spaces, office units, retail outlets, and homes.
The funding will also enable the completion of essential repair work to historic buildings, which is hoped will encourage commercial investment into high streets by demonstrating how sites can be successfully repurposed.
Education schemes and events will also be created to re-establish historic buildings as focal points for communities, whilst also addressing the skills shortage in heritage professions such as stonemasonry and conservation.
Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “This £95 million will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit.”
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick added: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in our biggest cities, is a priority of this Government in our mission to ‘level up’ the regions.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “This will help places across the country - from South Norwood to Scarborough - protect their treasured historic buildings and support local economies to thrive.”
Last week, Robert Jenrick announced the list of industrial towns in England that would receive financial support from the Town Deals Fund.