HIGH STREET FUND: Multi-million pound boost for South Shields town centre
South Tyneside Council
Plans to transform South Shields town centre have been given a major boost thanks to almost £6 million in government funding.
South Tyneside Council been awarded the grant from the Future High Streets Fund, part of a government drive to help local authorities diversify town centres uses through capital investment.
It will be used to acquire land and property needed to faciliate the delivery of up to 200 new homes within walking distance of the town centre.
Dilapidated properties will be demolished and where viable, vacant buildings will be refurbished and brought back into use to help diversify the high street and create a vibrant, sustainable community.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This funding is an extremely welcome boost and will support the significant investment that has already gone into revitalising South Shields Shields town centre.
“The high street that is centred solely around traditional retail is a thing of the past and Covid has accelerated some of the challenges and struggles town centres were already facing.
“We recognised some time ago that for our town centres to survive, and indeed thrive, they need to evolve into places where people want to live, work and visit.
“Increasing the residential population will mean increased footfall - more people spending time and money there, using services and supporting businesses to create a sustainable future.
“This funding will enable us to capitalise on the town’s strengths as a coastal community with a wonderful blend of cultural, heritage and leisure assets.”
The council will provide match funding of £1.4m. In key priorities set out earlier this year, the council made commitments to support town centres and high streets, and to invest in the built environment.
The plans also include improvements to the public realm and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment to complement the ongoing wider town centre regeneration work.
Cllr Dixon added: “With major schemes like our cultural venue, The Word, and our state-of-the-art transport interchange, we’ve been creating the conditions and infrastructure to generate private sector confidence and investment.
“This funding will enable us to continue building on those foundations to develop a mixed offer and create a thriving town centre.”
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