High streets across Devon and Cornwall will benefit from millions of pounds in Government funding.
Paignton, Newton Abbot, Barnstaple and Plymouth in Devon and Penzance in Cornwall will share £51,565,473 in funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.
The cash is designed to kickstart improvements as part of a £1billion package promised by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
The news of the announcements comes after a number of towns and cities received initial funding to develop plans and proposals for the fund earlier in the year and will see them benefit from a number of changes and improvements.
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Where is the cash going?
- Paignton: £13,363,248
- Penzance: £10,403,112
- Newton Abbot: £9,199,364
- Barnstaple £6,548,876.
None of the towns has received the full funding they bid for, meaning the offers are currently listed as provisional.
A funding bid for Bideford was unsuccessful.
What will the money pay for?
The schemes promise to bring a number of improvements to the town centre including regeneration schemes for key shopping areas and buildings, with a large-scale redevelopment of the Civic Centre in Plymouth, as well as public wi-fi in Penzance among the proposals.
In Paignton, Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council welcomed the news: “This is a timely and much-needed boost for Paignton. Our towns and our town centres continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 and we are starting to see its full economic impact.”
Plans for Paignton include Station Square and regeneration opportunities at Crossways and Victoria Centre.
The Future High Streets Funding will enable infrastructure improvements, new homes at strategic locations in the town and an enhanced cultural space.
The Council initially bid for £14million with a final application amount of £19.2million. The cash will stimulate matched investment into Paignton town by other private and public investors, totalling £100 million.
It follows recent significant investment made in Paignton made by developers Fragrance Group.
The developers are demolishing the Palace Hotel in Babbcombe, the prime seafront Corbyn Head Hotel spot in Torquay and the twin Park Hotel and Lighthouse locations on Esplanade Road, overlooking Paignton Green.
Torbay Council has demonstrated that, as a result of Future High Streets funding, land values in Paignton town centre would increase by almost £50 million, just under 80 permanent jobs will be created and over 400 homes would be provided for young people, families, retired and older people.
Other projects that will benefit from the funding are the Paignton Flood Defence Scheme and bringing Paignton Picture House back into use.
Cllr Darling said: “The Future High Streets Funding is vital for Paignton Town Centre as it provides us with the resources to accelerate the regeneration of these key sites. This will support the recovery and repositioning of the town centre improving the long term sustainability of businesses in Paignton.
“We know that over 75% of businesses in Paignton town centre are independently owned. They employ local people and provide valued local services. Their success is vital to people and families in Torbay.”
Robert Jenrick, Communities Secretary announced the funding, saying that the year ahead will be a big one for the high street as it seeks to recover, adapt and evolve as a result of the pandemic.
“The role of the high street has always evolved. We want to support that change and make sure that they are the beating heart of their local community – with high quality housing and leisure in addition to shops and restaurants.”
How can High Streets and town centres thrive? Share your views in the comments section below