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£95 million to revive historic high streets

Monday September 16th, 2019

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced the locations that will benefit from a £95 million heritage boost for high streets in 69 towns across the country. Treasury Building, Government Offices Great George Street, Westminster, London, England, UK

  • 69 high streets in England will be revitalised by a £95 million cash injection
  • This is the biggest ever single investment by Government in the UK’s built heritage
  • Projects across the country will transform disused historic buildings into shops, houses and community centres
  • Funding will help traditional businesses adapt to better compete with online outlets

Increasing competition from online outlets is putting high streets across the country under growing pressure. As part of the Government’s drive to help high streets adapt to changing consumer habits, the £95 million funding will provide a welcome boost that will breathe new life into historic buildings and areas in our towns and cities.

The initiative will be funded by combining £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund with £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund. £3 million 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.

The investment builds on the successful Heritage Action Zones programme, run by Historic England, and will turn empty and underused buildings into creative spaces, offices, retail outlets and housing to support wider regeneration in the 69 successful areas by attracting future commercial investment.

The funding will be used for a variety of projects, including:

  • To complete essential repair works in historic buildings and reveal hidden and forgotten features of buildings by restoring shop-fronts and facades
  • Stimulate commercial investment in high streets by demonstrating how historic sites can be successfully repurposed.
  • Develop education projects and bespoke events to help reposition historic buildings as community hubs at the heart of local towns and villages.
  • Help address the UK wide skills shortage of heritage professionals in expert fields like stonemasonry and conservation by providing local property owners, residents and businesses with the opportunity to train in these areas.

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.

It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.

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.”

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