£56m fund to help England's high streets and seaside towns reopen after lockdown

20 March 2021, 08:32

People walk past a parade of shops in Whitstable
People walk past a parade of shops in Whitstable. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

High streets and seaside towns in England are to receive a boost to get them ready for when lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Welcome Back Fund, worth around £56m, will help authorities prepare for the end of lockdown restrictions.

Pubs and restaurants will be given more flexibility to erect marquees and provide outdoor seating as part of the plans.

The funds can be used to remove graffiti and buy outdoor furniture for pubs and restaurants. But tourism officials say struggling towns will need more money.

Alex Schlagman from the Save the High Street campaign said: "£56m is not going to go a long way across the whole of the country.

READ MORE: France and Poland enter lockdown as third wave hits Europe

"What we need to see here is that this is part of a wider remit of support that goes towards high streets through this summer."

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said he hopes the plans will lead to "a great British summer."

"If the vaccine rollout proceeds at the pace we've seen in recent months, then I am increasingly optimistic that this summer is going to be a good one," he said.

£6m of the £56m will be allocated to improving seaside towns with the remaining £50m sent to councils to improve public spaces and encourage events during the summer.

Pubs across the country were forced to close on March 16 2020. From April 12, they will be allowed to open for outdoors drinking and dining only as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

In a separate development, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a £6 million fund to support the re-opening of London’s economy once COVID restrictions are lifted.

Mr Khan, said: “Central London is the engine of the UK’s economy. There simply won’t be a national economic recovery from COVID unless all levels of Government realise the crucial importance of protecting central London’s unique eco-system of shops, hospitality and world-leading cultural venues."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The scheme could cost more than £500m, a watchdog report has found.

Rwanda scheme could cost taxpayer more than £500m, watchdog report finds

The trust where Valdo Calocane was treated has been rated inadequate

Staff at mental health trust that treated Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane 'falsified records and assaulted patients'

Bangladesh Fire

Dozens killed in fire at shopping centre in Bangladesh capital

Israel Palestinians Rafah Photo Gallery

Israeli troops ‘fire on people waiting for aid’ as Gaza death tolls hits 30,000

Former Ambassador Arrested

Former career US diplomat admits spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Kensington Palace issued a statement addressing well-wishers' concerns.

Kensington Palace issues fresh statement on Kate’s health following concerns amid speculation

On Thursday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a big supporter of the arts and he believes that the arts should be inclusive and open to everyone.

'Wrong and divisive': No. 10 condemns theatre 'Black Outs' after West End show announces exclusive performances

Rishi Sunak has spoken out after the report into Wayne Couzens

Rishi Sunak says police must make 'urgent changes' after Couzens report, following 'chilling, abominable' murder

Donald Trump

Trump appeals against decision to remove his name from Illinois primary ballot

Staff said the increase relates to a greater number of Albanian children entering asylum hotels since the 2022 inspection.

UK border control is 'neither effective nor efficient', sacked watchdog says, with 147 child migrants still missing

Jess Phillips has said the person who allowed Couzens' employment should be 'for the chopping block'.

Person who allowed Wayne Couzens to be employed ‘has to be for the chopping block’, Jess Phillips tells LBC

Christian Horner

Christian Horner breaks silence after 'texts leaked', as Red Bull F1 boss cleared of inappropriate behaviour claims

The man was found at his home in Herne, Germany.

Horror as man found with ‘penis bitten off and eaten by pet dog’ after neighbours reported relentless barking

Russia Ukraine War

Russian onslaught targets more Ukrainian towns and villages

Sergei Sokolov

Editor of top independent Russian newspaper detained for ‘discrediting military’

Yvette Cooper said Wayne Couzens should never have been hired

Yvette Cooper calls for police being probed for sex or domestic abuse to be suspended, after damning Couzens report