Rishi has welcomed Northallerton’s success in securing more than £6m of Government funding to help its High Street adapt to the new post-Covid 19 retail environment.
Hambleton District Council’s bid for cash from the Future High Streets Fund to give the county town an economic boost has been approved.
It will receive the money for a project to assist existing town centre businesses and attract new ones.
Rishi lent his support to the council’s bid in his role as local MP and spoke to Ministers about the council’s plan to combat the impact of shoppers doing more of their business online – a trend which has accelerated during the pandemic
He said: “Northallerton town centre has fared better than many High Streets around the country but it needs help to remain a vibrant focus for the area.
“This is excellent news for the High Street and I look forward to the council’s ambitious plans coming to fruition.”
The council’s draft plan for Northallerton town centre, final details of which have to be agreed with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government before work can start, includes:
- Changing use of empty office spaces above shops on the High Street for affordable housing, bringing more people into the town centre and providing starter accommodation for young people
- A Zetland Street Shop Front Improvement Scheme to complement plans to improve links between the High Street and the new Treadmills development on the former prison site
- Developing the night- time economy and exploring the potential for an enhanced Forum venue
- Parking improvements
- Developing an Augmented Reality History Trail linking in key aspects of the town’s history, including the prison but also utilising the ginnels and other historic parts of the town
- Highway and footway improvements to Friarage Street which would seek to ease congestion in Friarage Street and the three roundabouts.
Rishi was told about the council bid’s success in a letter from Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Mr Jenrick said: “Northallerton has developed exciting and forward-thinking proposals that aim to re-engage the local community with their town centre by redesigning the high street as a business and enterprise hub with a digital, social and community-led focus.
“Thanks to strong support from Rishi Sunak and the bid from Hambleton District Council this investment will help us build back better and make Northallerton a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”
He said he was looking forward to seeing the council’s final worked-up proposal.
Coun Mark Robson, the leader of Hambleton District Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Hambleton and Northallerton – our county town. The council is grateful for the support for our ideas to regenerate the town centre from our MP and other stakeholders.”
The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of the Government’s plan to renew and reshape high streets in a way that drives economic growth and sustainably improves living standards.