Struggling high streets to share in £7m funding boost

High streets in crisis

Three struggling high streets in the Humber region will take part in a new Government pilot – the High Street Accelerators programme.

They will be among 10 high streets across England sharing in the £7m package of support, which will empower residents and community organisations to work together on long-term regeneration plans.

Areas receiving funding as part of the High Street Accelerators programme include:

  • Scunthorpe High Street, in North Lincolnshire
  • The Stepney area of Beverley Road, in Hull
  • Grimsby town centre, in North East Lincolnshire

The funding will help communities partner with local authorities and businesses to address some of the biggest challenges facing their high streets – building on wider action to tackle empty shops, anti-social behaviour and a lack of visitors.

High Street Accelerators will receive an initial £2.37m to kickstart their partnerships – a total of £237,000 each.

They can also apply for a share of up to £5m to improve their high streets’ green spaces and create more pleasant environments for residents to meet and socialise.

This £7m will be spent over the next two years and the impact will be evaluated to inform future Government policy and support for left-behind high streets, building on larger interventions such as the £1.1bn Long-Term Plan for Towns.

Minister for Levelling Up Jacob Young said:  “It has been a tough few years for our high streets following the pandemic and the changes we’ve seen in consumer behaviour.

“We know local people know what’s best for their area, and we’re keen to understand the benefits that High Street Accelerators could bring working with local businesses and their communities.

“These Accelerators will complement other interventions like High Street Rental Auctions, empowering local people to tackle vacancy and other issues on their high streets.”

The Government says this initiative will complement other interventions designed to revive England’s high streets, such as the High Streets Task Force which is helping local leaders regenerate their areas, and changing planning rules so councils have greater certainty.

New regulations to be introduced next year will also give local authorities more powers to work with landlords to rent out vacant properties on high streets.

The High Street Rental Auctions regulations will allow councils to sell off the rental rights for empty properties to willing tenants, such as businesses and community groups.