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£50m boost to support the recovery of our high streets

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures, in a move to get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

£50m boost to support the recovery of our high streets
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • May 26, 2020
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A new £50 million fund for councils to support their local high streets get safely back to business has been announced, aimed particularly towards facilitating the reopening of non-essential retail when the scientific advice allows.

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

It will also support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers, 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 has said it plans to open non-essential retail in a phased way from 1 June, subject to the scientific advice. The government is also expected to shortly set out further detail on how and when these can reopen safely.

“As we begin to slowly return to normality, the reopening of our high streets will be key to kick-starting our economic recovery,” said High Streets Minister Simon Clarke.

“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 £50 million 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.”

The additional £50 million funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will be allocated to councils on a per capita basis. 

The fund is in addition to the £3.2 billion package of support announced for councils to help them deal with the immediate pressures they have said they are facing.

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