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£50m to support high street recovery

Coronavirus: Funding will support practical measures to enable businesses to re-open quickly when they are allowed to

Mark Moran
26 May 2020
The £50m funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The £50m funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


A new £50m fund for councils to support their local high streets get safely back to business announced by High Streets Minister Simon Clarke.

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce safety measures that will help get people back to work and customers back to non-essential shops.

The fund will also support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers. This will help get businesses get ready for when they can begin trading safely, not only in high streets and town and city centres, but also in other public spaces like beachfronts and promenades.

Councils will also be able to use this money to develop local marketing campaigns to explain the changes to the public and reassure them that their high streets and other commercial areas are safe.

The Government said its ambition is to reopen non-essential retail in a phased way from 1 June, subject to the scientific advice.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke said: “As we begin to slowly return to normality, the re-opening our high streets will be key to kick-starting our economic recovery. Levelling up the regions and supporting our high streets has always been central to the mission of this government. Many businesses have already introduced creative ways of trading such as contactless collection or taking orders by instant messaging and shows that they are ready for the challenges ahead.

“That’s why we are providing an extra £50m for councils to support a range of safety measures that will help get these businesses back on track and ensure that people can enjoy their time visiting their local high street safely again. Today’s £50m funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) that the government is making available to councils to support businesses to re-open safely following guidance published on 13 May to help adapt urban centres and green spaces for social distancing during the pandemic.”

The money will be allocated to councils on a per capita basis and will be ready to spend from 1 June. Further information can be found in the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance.

The new £50m fund is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for European Regional Development Fund. For more information visit the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 page.

See the full list of councils receiving funding by clicking here

The fund is in addition to the £3.2 billion package of support announced on 18 April for councils to help them deal with immediate pressures.

The High Street Task Force, backed by Government and run by the Institute for Place Management has already started delivering support for the coronavirus recovery effort and is aligning its work to provide expert advice, training and long-term planning and guidance to councils, business and community leaders.


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