Local MP Robert Largan has welcomed the launch of the Government’s new Build Back Better High Streets Strategy, which sets out how high streets across High Peak will be transformed into thriving places to live, work and visit after the pandemic.
Measures in the strategy include extending pavement licences and the outdoor sales of alcohol for twelve months; empowering councils to take over vacant buildings through compulsory purchase orders so they can be converted into high-quality homes; and backing more entrepreneurs, start-ups and independent businesses through new guidance for areas on how they can best support local businesses.
As part of the Government’s drive to improve the look and feel of high streets, the strategy also increases funding for ‘mini-Holland’ schemes to encourage cycling, walking and green forms of travel; introduces plans to eradicate the scourge of chewing gum litter blighting our high streets, along with new guidance for councils to manage graffiti; and outlines how millions of trees will be planted on high streets to improve green spaces.
It will also be easier for people to hold street parties and picnics during national celebrations like the Euros and Commonwealth Games, as well as for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, encouraging local events so that communities across the UK can come together and celebrate with pride.
Further details have also been published setting out how community groups in the High Peak can bid for up to £250,000 in matched funding through the Government’s new £150 million Community Ownership Fund to take over local pubs, theatres, shops and sports grounds at risk of closure.
In some cases, up to £1 million will be made available to establish sports clubs or help to buy sports grounds at risk without community intervention.
Robert Largan MP commented:
“I know how much people in the High Peak treasure their local high streets. As we emerge from the pandemic, I am determined to support their recovery so they can thrive in the long term.
“This high streets strategy will help to deliver that, supporting hospitality businesses with more freedoms to trade; encouraging local events so that people can come together and enjoy themselves; and giving local people a real stake in our community.
“At the last election, I promised that I would work hard to help make the High Peak an even better place to live and work, and this strategy marks an important step forward for the character and economic success of our area.”
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP commented:
“As we build back better from the pandemic, we have a once in a generation opportunity to transform our high streets into the kind of vibrant places we will want to visit, work and live for generations to come.
“This strategy sets out a vision for entrepreneurship to thrive, where empty buildings are transformed into quality homes and disused shopping centres become buzzing new hubs for business and entertainment.
“With more funding for town centres and powers for communities to take a stake in their local area, we are delivering on our commitments to level up and cement real and lasting change for all areas of the country.”