The culture secretary has said that a new £62m fund will ‘breathe new life’ into historic high streets across the country.
The fund will be used to regenerate places by turning disused or underused buildings into creative spaces, offices, retail outlets and housing.
‘Our heritage makes communities more attractive places to live, work and visit,’ said the culture secretary Jeremy Wright.
‘This £62m investment will breathe new life into high streets right across the country, benefiting local people and businesses, as well as providing assistance to much-loved historic buildings.
‘It is right that we do all we can to not only protect our heritage, but make it work for modern life so it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.’
The initiative is part of the Government’s plan for high streets announced at last year’s Budget, including a £675m Future High Streets Fund and a £1bn business rates discount for small high street retailers.
Research has shown that for every £1 invested in heritage in England, £1.60 is brought into the wider area.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire commented: ‘We’re absolutely committed to seeing our high streets thrive now and in the future. That’s why we put a plan to secure the future of the high street, and are taking action to ensure they can adapt to changing consumer demand and the rise of online shopping.
‘This welcome announcement will help the high street to capitalise on local heritage by restoring treasured historic buildings for economic use. This is a proven way to drive footfall, increase further investment and generate even greater civic pride in our high streets.’