Morecambe has received up to £150,000 of funding after getting through to the second phase of the government’s £675m Future High Streets Fund.
The government says the funding is aimed at transforming high streets to make them fit for the future, from improving transport and access into town centres to converting retail units into new homes.
Morecambe is one of fifty areas across the country through to the second phase of the fund, High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP confirmed today.
Mr Berry has been in Morecambe today, July 5, to talk to business and civic leaders.
Local leaders will now receive up to £150,000 of new funding to work up detailed project proposals, based on their initial plans.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it will work closely with them, focusing on those places that have “shovel ready” projects where there might be opportunities to accelerate these.
Coun Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Developing a thriving and sustainable high street is key to the wellbeing of every town and this announcement is another step closer to achieving that goal. These are exciting times for Morecambe.
“The opening of the Bay Gateway has unlocked the town’s potential for investment, and the exciting plans for Eden North will do so much to support regeneration and job creation.
“We are delighted to receive this funding to support our ongoing work with residents, businesses and community organisations in developing exciting plans and dynamic action that will strengthen the town’s economy for generations to come.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Our high streets lie at the heart of local communities – creating jobs, boosting the economy and helping small businesses thrive.
“But new technology and changes in the way we shop means they also face growing challenges, so I’m delighted over 50 towns will initially benefit from this scheme.
“The funding will breathe new life into town centres and – together with measures such as small business rate cuts and opening up empty shops – will transform our high streets for the future.”
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “High Streets are a crucial part of our local economies and people care about them because they are also the centres of their community.
“But we recognise that changing consumer behaviour and the rise of online shopping presents a significant challenge and that’s why we are taking action to help them evolve.
“Many of our high streets are successfully re-inventing themselves and with these new plans now in development, local leaders, who know their areas best, will be driving forward the transformation of their town centres into further great success stories.”
The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 as part of the Government’s Plan for the High Street.
Last month DCMS, together with the Architectural Heritage Fund and National Lottery Heritage Fund announced a £62 million package of support to breathe new life into historic high streets across the country, to restore historic buildings, create new work spaces and cultural venues. As part of the overall funding, £55m has been allocated from the Future High Streets Fund.