The Government’s Welcome Back Fund will be felt across the Chichester District with £173,161 being allocated to District Council. The money will support the reopening of our highstreets as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
A total of £56 million will be invested through the new 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.
Councils can also 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.
The Welcome Back Fund is the most recent in a string of Government initiatives to support local highstreets and the local economy. Throughout the pandemic targeted tax cuts, business rates relief and grants have made up part of the economic package worth £407 billion this year and next. Other support has enabled eateries and pubs to keep serving customers as takeaways during lockdown. Longer-term the Government is making it easier for disused buildings in town centres to be repurposed to end the scourge of ugly buildings that drive away footfall.
Gillian Keegan Chichester’s MP said,
“Having visited many of our shops, bars, pubs and restaurants over the course of this year, I know how difficult it has been for businesses on our high streets, and I am determined to make sure they get the help they need to recover. It is fantastic news that our area has received this funding, which will go a long way to help our high streets to reopen safely and successfully this Summer as restrictions lift in earnest.”
Commenting, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
“As we move to the next stage on the roadmap out of lockdown we are all looking forward to being reunited with friends and family outdoors and making a safe and happy return to our favourite shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
“Our Welcome Back Fund gives every city, town and high street support to prepare for a great summer. This funding will help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners and tourists back safely.
“As soon as the roadmap allows, we need to get behind our local businesses and enjoy all that this country has to offer and that we’ve been missing so much.
“I’m allowing every pub in the country to erect a marquee in their garden for the whole summer as a one-off power to support our locals.”