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Yorkshire Councils to Get Share of £4.9m for COVID Recovery

Yorkshire Councils to Get Share of £4.9m for COVID Recovery

Published by Matthew Pells at 12:02am 24th May 2020.

A new £4.9 million fund has been created for councils across Yorkshire to prepare for the safe reopening of high streets.

The fund for councils in Yorkshire to support their local high streets get safely back to business was announced today by High Streets Minister Simon Clarke.

The Government say that to prepare for the reopening of non-essential retail when the scientific advice allows, the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

It will also support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers.

The Government say this will help get businesses get ready for when they can begin trading safely, not only in high streets and town and city centres, but also in other public spaces like beachfronts and promenades.  

Councils will also be able to use this money to develop local marketing campaigns to explain the changes to the public and reassure them that their high streets and other commercial areas are safe.  

It comes as the Government reiterates it's ambition to reopen non-essential retail in a phased way from 1 June, subject to the scientific advice. The Government says it will set out further detail on how and when these can reopen safely shortly.

This new fund is in addition to the longer-term funds  already in place to support  their revival and boost their economic fortunes including the Future High Streets and Towns Funds.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP said:

 “As we begin to slowly return to normality, the re-opening our high streets will be key to kick-starting our economic recovery. 

Levelling up the regions and supporting our high streets has always been central to the mission of this Government. 

Many businesses have already introduced creative ways of trading such as contactless collection or taking orders by instant messaging and shows that they are ready for the challenges ahead.

That’s why we are providing an extra £4.9 million for councils across Yorkshire to support a range of safety measures that will help get these businesses back on track and ensure that people can enjoy their time visiting their local high street safely again.”

The funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) that the Government is making available to councils to support businesses to re-open safely following guidance published on 13 May to help adapt urban centres and green spaces for social distancing during the pandemic.  

The money, totalling £50m in England will be allocated to councils on a per capita basis and will be ready to spend from 1 June 2020. 

The Government have also announced that due to the coronavirus emergency they have extended the deadline for the submission of final business cases for the latest round of Future High Streets Fund and have written to local authorities to inform them of this.

A bid team are currently working on an application to the Future High Streets fund for Scarborough and are looking for public support for the bid.

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