A host of locations across the West Midlands are to receive a cash boost worth £185,000 from a fund designed to breathe new life into smaller town centres and local high streets.
The fresh injection of capital has been granted by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) from its ‘Towns and Local Centres’ framework which was launched last year.
The projects to benefit from this latest round of funding are:
– Bromsgrove’s Town Centre Plan for 2040
– Kidderminster Masterplan around Lions Field and Crown House
– Various schemes in Balsall Common
– Feasibility study for redevelopment of government assets in Redditch
– Regeneration strategy for Uttoxeter
– Research into redevelopment opportunities in Burntwood
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The Towns and Local Centres framework has been designed to support smaller, more focused projects aimed at adding to a distinctive sense of place and developing the local communities and economies that underpin larger-scale investment projects across Greater Birmingham and Solihull.
Launched in March 2019, it has already delivered more than £500,000 of funding to support projects across the LEP area including a connectivity and accessibility study for Soho Road Business Improvement District in Birmingham.
Simon Marks, board director at the LEP, said: “It has never been more critical to plan for the future of our town centres.
“Thriving, vibrant towns and local centres play a crucial role in the growth and development of the GBSLEP area, providing important social hubs for our communities and high-quality places to live, work and visit.
“Even before the covid-19 outbreak and the huge challenges we all currently face, we knew our towns and high streets would have to adapt to continue to prosper.
“Consumer spending habits and the rise of online retail has altered the landscape for the traditional high street.
“The challenges we face now are even greater as our centres prepare for reopening as well as determining what the future will look like for both town centre users and occupiers.
“We hope these funds will help shape the future of our local towns and high streets and help them remain competitive as well as places people will continue to visit and invest in.”