// High streets and town centres will receive £6.1m to survive through pandemic
// The money will be paid to local authorities and dispersed to Business Improvement Districts
High streets and town centres in England will receive a £6.1 million funding boost to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic.
High Streets Minister Simon Clarke said on Friday that hundreds of local business partnerships across England will share £6.1 million of funding to spend on projects that will help their local high streets through the uncertainty of the crisis.
The money will be paid to local authorities and dispersed to business improvement districts (BIDs).
- Coronavirus: When will retail return to normal?
- BRC & unions make submission on govt’s plans to reopen UK retail
“The government has announced a comprehensive programme of support for businesses to help them deal with the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic and today we are extending that support to BIDs,” Clarke said.
“These partnerships are uniquely placed and have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, empowering communities, championing our town centres and driving forward the renewal of our high streets.
“It’s only right that during these unprecedented times we give them all the necessary support they need to continue operating, so that they can carry on their vital work now and crucially when we move into the next phase of the current crisis.”
The funding follows the government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency such as the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses.
Meanwhile, businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
British BIDs chief executive Chris Turner said: “Government has listened to the requests that we have made on behalf of the BID industry.
“I am exceptionally grateful to the numerous BIDs that have actively supported and engaged with this process, particularly those who joined in our initial Q&A sessions and completed the online survey which, together, provided us with the evidence that we needed.”