Improvements can be made to local high streets across Bolton to help them safely and successfully open after lockdown thanks to Government funding, which sees Bolton receive £253,140 in support as well as being one of seventy council selected for additional support from the High Streets Task Force.
A total of £56 million will be invested through the new Welcome Back Fund to help councils across England boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups – giving people more, safer options to reunite with friends and relatives this Summer.
Councils can use the funding to hold street markets and festivals, boost the look and feel of their high streets, with more seating areas and street planting or less graffiti, and install new signage to help keep people safe as restrictions are lifted.
Bolton is also one of seventy councils across England that will benefit from additional hands on support through the new High Streets Taskforce, a group of elite high streets experts who will visit the area to provide advice on how to make changes to ensure high streets across the borough adapt to changing consumer demands and thrive in the years ahead.
The Conservative Government has provided billions of investment through the £3.6 billion Towns Fund and £1 billion Future High Streets Fund to regenerate town centres and spruce up high streets, and recently announced a new £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund which will give every council in the UK access to up to £20 million to make their area a more attractive place to visit.
It has also supported high street businesses throughout the pandemic with targeted tax cuts, business rates relief and grants as part of an economic package worth £407 billion this year and next; enabled eateries and pubs to keep serving customers as takeaways during lockdown, and is making it easier for disused buildings in town centres to be repurposed to end the scourge of ugly buildings that drive away footfall.
Commenting, Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said:
It has been very challenging for businesses across the borough of Bolton and our high streets were already struggling before the pandemic. That's why it's great to see the Conservative government supporting Conservative councils like Bolton to recover strongly.
I am thrilled that our area will receive £253,140 as part of the Conservative Government’s new Welcome Back Fund and support us in opening up over the summer period.
We will be able to build back better from the pandemic and provide the support that local businesses need.
Commenting, Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said:
As we move to the next stage on the roadmap out of lockdown we are all looking forward to being reunited with friends and family outdoors and making a safe and happy return to our favourite shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Our Welcome Back Fund gives every city, town and high street support to prepare for a great summer. This funding will help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners and tourists back safely.
As soon as the roadmap allows, we need to get behind our local businesses and enjoy all that this country has to offer and that we’ve been missing so much.
I’m allowing every pub in the country to erect a marquee in their garden for the whole summer as a one-off power to support our locals.