Weston misses out on slice of £1billion High Street funding

Bank Holiday Sun at Weston. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Bank Holiday Sun at Weston. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Weston’s high street will not be aided by a £1billion Government fund any time soon after North Somerset Council’s bid for cash was turned down.

In an effort to boost retail centres, 50 towns and cities were awarded funding to revitalise key shopping areas.

The Mercury reported in April the council was hoping to secure a £10million kitty from Future High Streets Fund.

Areas such as Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Southampton, Blackpool, Barnstaple, Scarborough and Plymouth were all successful in advancing their ideas.

They will receive up to £150,000 to develop their proposals to receive capital funding.

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North Somerset Council's deputy leader, Mike Bell, said the news was 'disappointing' and the authority is waiting for 'bespoke feedback' as to why it lost out.

Weston High Street was packed with shoppers and visitors over the sunny bank holiday, but retailers have not always been so busy.

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While the council invested in a long-term multi-million-pound deal to buy the Sovereign Shopping Centre last year, other areas have struggled.

The closure of Marks & Spencer in April was the clearest indication yet of the struggles faced by retailers.

Cllr Bell tweeted: "Disappointed that North Somerset Council has been unsuccessful in its bid for funding from the Future High Streets' Fund for Weston High Street. We'll be back.

"Regenerating our town centres remains a top priority for your council and we will explore every opportunity to help."

The funding bid was put in by the Conservatives before it lost control of the council in May's local elections.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Our high streets are right at the heart of our communities, and I will do everything I can to make sure they remain vibrant places where people want to go, meet and spend their money.

"But with our town centres facing challenges, we're today expanding the High Streets Fund to support more than 100 high streets to regenerate - backed by £1billion of vital investment.

"This scheme is going to re-energise and transform even more of our high streets - helping them to attract new businesses, boost local growth, and create new infrastructure and jobs."

The successful bidders were: (council: retail area)

- Dudley: Brierley Hill high town centre

- Barrow: Barrow town centre

- Dover: Dover town centre and waterfront

- Plymouth: Plymouth city centre

- South Gloucestershire: Kingswood

- Warwick: Leamington town centre

- North Lincolnshire: Scunthorpe

- Blackpool: Blackpool town centre

- Fylde: Kirkham town centre

- Halton: Runcorn Old Town

- Torridge: Bideford

- North Devon: Barnstaple

- Ashfield: Sutton

- Teignbridge: Newton Abbot

- Barnsley: Barnsley town centre

- Portsmouth: Fratton

- Thanet: Ramsgate

- Calderdale: Elland town centre

- North East Lincolnshire: Grimsby town centre

- Rochdale: Rochdale town centre

- Southampton: Heart of the City Quarter

- Wiltshire: Salisbury city centre

- Newcastle-under-Lyme: Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre

- Doncaster: Doncaster Waterdale

- Hambleton: Northallerton

- South Kesteven: Grantham

- Redcar and Cleveland: Loftus

- Nuneaton and Bedworth: Nuneaton town centre

- Tamworth: Tamworth town centre

- Bolton: Bolton town centre

- Torbay: Paignton

- Scarborough: Scarborough town centre

- Carlisle: Carlisle city centre

- Worcester: Blackfriars - northern city centre

- Huntingdonshire: St Neots

- Northumberland: Blyth town centre

- Tendring: Clacton town centre

- Wiltshire: Trowbridge

- Rossendale: Bacup town centre

- Harrow: Wealdstone

- Portsmouth: Commercial Road

- Thurrock: Grays town centre

- South Holland: Holbeach

- Harlow: Harlow town centre

- Wandsworth: Putney town centre

- Wycombe: High Wycombe

- Forest of Dean: Cinderford town centre

- Allerdale: Maryport town centre

- Middlesbrough: Middlesbrough centre

- Greenwich: Woolwich town centre

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