As lockdown measures begin to be eased, a new package of support measures to help high streets and coastal areas across England has been announced by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. The support will be delivered via a new £56 million Welcome Back Fund.
The new funding will help councils 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.
The funding can also be used by councils to:
- Boost the look and feel of their high streets by investing in street planting, parks, green spaces and seating areas to make high streets as beautiful and welcoming as possible
- Run publicity campaigns and prepare to hold events like street markets and festivals to support local businesses
- Install signage and floor markings to encourage social distancing and safety
- Improve high streets and town centres by planting flowers or removing graffiti
The Communities Secretary also announced that the government would allow pubs and restaurants to erect marquees and provide more outdoor space throughout the summer rather than for the 28 days currently permitted.
The government also published its response to the Parking Code Framework which will curb unfair tickets and tackle cowboy parking firms through a new, simplified appeals process. This is expected to herald the return of more motorists to high streets and town centres.