Thanet to receive £191k government funding to help high streets reopen

Getting ready to reopen our high streets Photo Carl Hudson

Thanet District Council will receive £191,456 of government funding aimed at helping high streets reopen and attracting shoppers and tourists.

The government is 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.

It is part of a wider package of measures to revitalise high streets and level up communities – including steps to make it easier for venues to serve customers outdoors and set up market stalls this Summer.

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.

A total of £56 million will be invested across the country through the new Welcome Back Fund.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said he was delighted Thanet District Council is getting £191,456 and looks forward to seeing how the money will be spent to help attract people back to the high streets post-lockdown.

Additional funding has also been made available to support coastal areas like Thanet, so coastal resorts across England can safely welcome holiday makers in the coming months.

This is part of a package announced by the government to attract people back to high streets safely this Summer, with the aim of:

  • 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.

Thanet District Council is also one of 70 councils across England that will benefit from additional  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 Thanet adapt to changing consumer demands and thrive in the years ahead.

9 Comments

  1. I hope this isn’t just spent on the 3 main towns. Places like Westgate, Birchington and Minster need help too.

  2. I fear that a large chunk will get swallowed by admin and consultant fees. Spread around all of Thanet, including Birchington, Westgate and Minster will mean that what is left will be barely noticed – or am I being a cynic again?

  3. THEY WANT PEOPLE TO COME BACK TO THE LOCAL HIGH STREET SHOPS BUT ARE WAITING FOR YOU TO ARRIVE SO THEY CAN MAKE MORE MONEY FROM THERE PARKING AND FINES READY TO POUNCE. WESTWOOD CROSS IS FREE PARKING FOR A NUMBER OF HOURS WHY CAN’T THE OTHER HIGH STREET SHOPS BE FREE FOR A WHILE SO EVERYONE CAN GET BACK ON THERE FEET AGAIN BEFORE THE NEXT LOCKDOWN COMES IN THE AUTUMN AND WINTER MONTHS I DEFINITELY KNOW THATS WHAT PUT PEOPLE OFF SHOPPING IN THE LOCAL HIGH STREET SHOPS THE HIGH PARKING CHARGES AND FINES.

    • It’s a pity people ever started going to out-of-town shopping centres, whose so-called free parking, actually, is simply parking with unpublicized fees.

  4. Tackling Cowboy private parking firms whose rogue practices can keep visitors away from town-aren’t these the ones given contracts by the government/local councils/county councils in the first place?

  5. I believe local councils were already given money to help traders provide outside facilities etc. last year. Little of this is evident. Weather proof solid commercial type umbrellas, as used on the continent, could have been provided and installed here by TDC to help traders. I wonder what the money was spent on.

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