- Torbay Council will receive £221,293 to help local high streets reopen and attract shoppers and tourists.
- Conservative Government investing a total of £56 million through the Welcome Back Fund to help councils prepare for the end of lockdown when it is safe to do so.
- This is part of a wider package of measures to revitalise high streets and level up communities – including steps to make it easier for eateries to serve customers outdoors and set up market stalls this Summer.
Improvements can be made to local high streets across Torbay to help them safely and successfully open after lockdown thanks to new Government funding which has been confirmed this week.
A total of £56 million will be invested through the new Welcome Back Fund to help councils across England boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups – giving people more, safer options to reunite with friends and relatives this Summer.
Conservative MP for Torquay and Paignton Kevin Foster said he was delighted Torbay Council is getting £221,293and looks forward to seeing how the money will be spent to help attract people back to the high streets post-lockdown.
Councils can use the funding to hold street markets and festivals, boost the look and feel of their high streets, with more seating areas and street planting or less graffiti, and install new signage to help keep people safe as restrictions are lifted.
Additional funding has been made available to support coastal areas, like Torbay, so seaside resorts across England can safely welcome back holiday makers in the coming months.
This is part of a package announced by the Conservative Government to attract people back to high streets safely this Summer, including:
- Making it easier for hospitality businesses to operate as takeaways and host markets and stalls.
- Enabling businesses like pubs and restaurants to use their land more flexibly, for example by setting up a marquee or creating new outside space, for the whole summer, so they can serve more customers and recover from the effects of the pandemic.
- Extending pavement licenses for another 12 months, so venues can continue serving customers ‘al fresco’ for longer without red tape.
- Tackling Cowboy private parking firms whose rogue practices can keep visitors away from town.
Torbay is also one of seventy councils across England that will benefit from additional hands on support through the new High Streets Taskforce, a group of elite high streets experts who will visit the area to provide advice on how to make changes to ensure high streets across our bay can adapt to changing consumer demands and thrive in the years ahead.
The Government has provided millions in regeneration funding for our bay through the £21.9m Torquay Towns Fund and the £13.5m Paignton Future High Streets Fund to regenerate our town centres and spruce up our high streets. It was also announced in the recent Budget Torbay Council would receive funding to put together its bid for support from the new £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, which will give every council in the UK access to up to £20 million to make their area a more attractive place to visit.
The Government has also supported high street businesses throughout the pandemic with targeted tax cuts, business rates relief and grants as part of an economic package worth £407 billion this year and next; enabled eateries and pubs to keep serving customers as takeaways during lockdown, and is making it easier for disused buildings in town centres to be repurposed to end the scourge of ugly buildings that drive away footfall.
Commenting, Kevin Foster MP said:
“The last year has been a difficult one for businesses and people across our bay, yet as the summer draws nearer and with it the re-opening of our bay as a resort it is welcome to hear of this latest funding boost from the Government. There is a lot of work to be done to get our bay ready to welcome visitors again for what could be bumper summer for our tourism sector, so this £221,293 of support is all the more welcome.”