Thanet is to receive a package of support, specifically designed to boost high streets and town centres, as the nation moves out of lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Funding of £191,456 has been announced from the Welcome Back Fund for Thanet and follows last year’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund. Although details of the specific criteria are still to be shared it is understood that this allocation includes an additional sum to support coastal areas safely welcoming holidaymakers in the coming months.
Thanet is also one of 70 areas across England that will benefit from a programme of support from the Government’s High Street Task Force which was set up to help revitalise town centres.
This support will include a government funded consultant visiting Thanet for the day, studying one of the district’s high streets and advising on how it can be improved to attract more people. This may include planning or design advice, workshops to develop a high street’s vision, or mentoring or training schemes. Although the support will be focused on one high street, potentially the advice could be replicated across other high streets in the district.
Madeline Homer, Chief Executive of Thanet District Council said: “We are pleased that Thanet will receive further funding to contribute to the delivery of a roadmap out of lockdown. This support will help the district to prepare for the safe return of shoppers as the economy opens up again. Whilst we await further guidance from the Government, we have begun to give consideration to how any funding received might best be used for the benefit of our high streets and town centres.”
The High Street Task Force was set up by the Institute of Place Management, part of Manchester Metropolitan University. Its job is to advise and support the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHCLG) on how to revitalise town centres across the country.
The MHCLG is hosting a webinar for local authorities on Tuesday 30 March and more information about what this means for the district is expected to be received then. The council’s website and social media channels will be kept updated.