Issued on 26 December last year, the Future High Streets Fund prospectus invited expressions of interest for Phase 1 of the first round. 51 Local Authorities have now been shortlisted for Phase 2 in which they are required to work up detailed HM Treasury compliant business cases with developed /detailed designs and costings. Those successful towns will now receive up to £150,000 of new funding to work up detailed project proposals, based on their initial plans. The robustness of these will be the key determinant of how much funding each individual Authority will be allocated. First round final business cases need to be submitted by the end of 2019, with all remaining final business cases to be submitted by Spring 2020. Time is of the essence in developing detailed HM Treasury compliant business cases.
Co funding recap
The Future High Streets Fund is to provide co-funding towards capital projects that bring transformative, structural changes to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability. Securing private sector or other public sector matched funding is essential.
Delivery is key
The briefing note from MHCLG very firmly hints that priority is to be given to those projects which are clearly deliverable …” Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will work closely with them, focusing on those places that have “shovel ready” projects where there might be opportunities to accelerate these.” Successfully shortlisted places will receive further guidance later this month.
Second round to follow
It’s worth remembering that The Future High Streets Fund is allocated through two rounds, giving those Authorities which missed the cut in this first round (some 250+) along with others which didn’t bid, a fresh opportunity to pitch. The date for the second round and the assessment criteria for this is set to open in 2020.
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