West Midlands high streets in line for £146m boost

High streets across the West Midlands have been boosted by fresh government funding worth almost £146 million.

A new tranche of grants totalling £70 million is being handed out to four areas from the £1 billion Future High Streets Fund.

This was first unveiled in the 2018 Budget and aims to renew and reshape town centres to drive growth and improve the visitor experience by overcoming local challenges.

A further six areas in the West Midlands have received provisional funding offers worth up to £75.7 million ahead of more work to finalise their proposals.

These grants will help the locations recover from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic and transform underused town centres with the aim of creating vibrant places to live, work, visit and shop.

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The four West Midlands locations receiving funding are:

– £20.5 million investment for Kidderminster to improve access to the town centre, bringing more footfall to the high street and delivering a new space for food and beverage facilities

– £10 million for Brierley Hill high street to create more public space, enhance the look of the town centre and support the development of 250 homes

– £21.6 million investment for Tamworth to preserve its market town heritage by redeveloping unused space, developing more commercial units and building 150 new homes

– £17.9 million to renovate the Scala Theatre and Corn Exchange in Worcester and support the development of new homes for first time buyers and improve connectivity

A total of £830 million in funding has been allocated nationally in this latest round from the Future High Streets Fund.

Minister for High Streets Kelly Tolhurst MP said: “As we look ahead to a big year for the high street in 2021, the Government is investing in local areas to help create vibrant places that communities are proud of.

“Today I’m confirming up to £146 million of investment for innovative local plans to drive growth, reinvigorate public spaces, improve transport and build the homes that communities need as well as deliver on our plan for jobs.

“We’re levelling up every part of the country to deliver opportunity and prosperity.

“I am proud that the West Midlands will benefit from this investment and look forward to watching these impressive plans materialise.”

The six other locations which have received provision funding offers are Leamington Spa (£10 million); Newcastle (£11million); Nuneaton £13.3 million); Stafford (£14.3 million); Walsall (£11.4 million); and Wolverhampton (£15.7 million).

Business Live – West Midlands