Date Published: 19 March 2019
Rutland County Council is to put Uppingham Town forward to bid for funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund.
The decision comes after the Council was put in a difficult position by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and was not allowed to submit applications from both the county’s market towns.
The £675 million Future High Street Fund is a dedicated fund designed to help high streets adapt and evolve to changing shopping habits. The highly competitive process will see towns across the country make bids to support the preparation of long-term strategies for the improvement of their high streets and town centres and gain expertise and hands-on support from a new High Streets Taskforce.
Should Uppingham be successful in its application, the town has proposed it would seek £5.2million to improve the its attractiveness to public and private sector investment through a range of potential initiatives, including developing a community hub at the Town Hall, remodelling the A6003 from its junction with Spring Back Way, creating a new car park and showground at Tod’s Piece and investing in a ‘virtual high street’.
“We, like many places, were put in a disappointing and difficult position by MHCLG by not being able to put both Oakham and Uppingham forward to bid for the funding. Both towns developed strong applications, but this is a highly competitive process and to ensure our strongest case was submitted we took advice from an independent arbitrator who reviewed our bids, and recommended that Uppingham had the most viable proposal. We are committed to supporting both market towns, as was clearly demonstrated by our support for the Oakham Task and Finish Group, and recognise that both Oakham and Uppingham would greatly benefit from the funding. While we wait for the outcome of Uppingham’s submission, we continue to engage with MHCLG to ensure we maximise on any future funding opportunities as they emerge.”
Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest for the Future High Street Fund is 22nd March and a decision is expected in summer 2019.