Stuart Anderson MP has welcomed the news that Wolverhampton is set to receive over £15 million from the Government’s £1 billion Future High Street Fund. It is one part of the wider £3.6 billion Towns Fund which will help to regenerate local high streets and commercial areas.
Since shortly after his election, Stuart has been working hard with key partners including fellow MPs, the City of Wolverhampton Council, and local businesses on the Towns Board to develop a strong business case for this investment. He will continue to do so as these plans are finalised. In September 2020, Wolverhampton was one of 101 places to receive accelerated funding and secured £1 million.
The latest round of funding announcements follows a comprehensive package of support which the Government has put in place to support high streets. In May 2020, the Government launched the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund which saw the City of Wolverhampton Council receive over £200,000 to safely re-open commercial areas following the initial period of national restrictions due to Covid-19. Across the country, the Government has also put in place £617 million in Local Authority Discretionary Grant funding and paid over £10 billion in business grants.
The Government has now brought forward £830 million as part of the Future High Streets Fund. It forms an integral part of the Government’s economic response to Coronavirus, as well as its wider plan to level up opportunities and to transform local areas into vibrant places to live, work, and visit.
In November’s Spending Review, it was revealed that the Government will launch a £4 billion Levelling Up Fund to develop local infrastructure. Local areas will be able to bid to fund projects of up to £20 million which must be delivered in this Parliament and command real support, including from MPs.
Stuart Anderson MP said: “I am delighted that Wolverhampton is set to receive over £15 million to help regenerate our local area. I love Wolverhampton. We have many fantastic businesses here which have been doing an amazing job despite the impact of Coronavirus. I am determined to keep levelling up opportunities for our great city, and I know that this funding announcement is just the beginning of this work. We are also awaiting more news regarding our bid to the wider Towns Fund and the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government’s partial relocation to our fantastic region.”
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “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. Today’s £830 million investment from the Future High Streets Fund is one of many ways the Government is working to help our much-loved town centres get through this and prosper into the future. The role of 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. This investment will help us build back better and make town centres a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “We are supporting our high streets to get through this pandemic through business grants, paying people’s wages and tax deferrals. The Future High Streets Fund will help areas bounce back through regeneration projects that level up opportunities and create jobs right across the country.”
*Photo of Stuart Anderson MP and the Rt. Hon Robert Jenrick MP in Wolverhampton City Centre, 2019.