More than a dozen towns across East Yorkshire are set to benefit from a new £1.4m high street scheme.
The council-led initiative is designed to boost struggling 13 town centres by improving existing shop fronts and offering support to businesses in the region.
Coastal towns including Bridlington, Hornsea and Withernsea will have access to the ‘Healthy High Street’ fund alongside Beverley, Hessle and Cottingham.
East Riding Council cabinet approved the proposals on March 12, which was made possible due to one-off government funding.
A council finance chief revealed that more than half of the grant (£800,000) will come from a national business rate levy surplus, while a further £400,000 has been made available through the government’s ‘Rural Services Delivery Grant.’
Councillor Andy Burton, portfolio holder for economic development and planning delivery, said: “I think this is a really well thought out initiative and something that’s increasingly needed in high streets, particularly with the growth of online shopping and all the other challenges.
“We’ve got a big rate review coming up this next year as well which is going to have an impact on those sort of businesses and I think this is very timely.
“It is an initiative I really do support, I think it’s something that we really need to take forward with some urgency.”
The future of the high street continues to be under the spotlight, with a number of prominent retailers responding to a fall in profits by closing stores or cutting back on staff.
In response, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a new £675m future high streets fund in December 2018 – where local authorities can bid for a share of the funding.
East Riding Council is a considering a bid for Goole, but even if that application is successful, the wider health of the high street across the East Riding is also being targeted for improvement.
Councillor Richard Burton, portfolio holder for leisure and tourism, said: “The high street is experiencing unprecedented change across the board, irrespective of deprivation figures this is about changes in the way people are shopping.
“The high street is part of the well-being of these towns and in terms of place-shaping it really sets the scene from both a residents perspective and a tourism perspective.
“There are so many different elements to this so I think it has an important role to play and will be well received.”
Areas that can access the funding
Elloughton cum Brough