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Breathing life back into the High Street- Chester receives the investment it’s been crying out for

Posted on September 19th 2019

Over the years Chester has faded into the background, whilst nearby cities such as Manchester and Liverpool have received large sums of government funding. Now, the government has announced that 69 English towns and cities will benefit from a £95 million regeneration fund, and Chester has won a share of that funding.

The purpose of the funding
The investment will be funded by contributions of £52 million from the Government’s Future High Street Fund, £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund and £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The funding will be used to turn empty historical buildings into shops, houses and community centres. It is hoped the restoration of the buildings will attract both commercial investment and visitors to the high street once again. The initiative is greatly needed following the announcement of figures from PWC, which showed in the first half of 2019 around 16 shops close every day on Britain’s high streets. It is hoped that this investment will provide traditional businesses with the resources to cater to the needs of the modern consumer, in an attempt to compete with the online market.

Revitalising Chester’s High Street
Chester’s much loved historic buildings and quirky character attract many visitors to the city each year. However, there has been a marked fall in the number of people visiting the city this summer. A contributing factor to this decline is undoubtedly the rise in empty shopping units, meaning that consumers can no longer find everything they need on our high street.
Nevertheless, there are already signs that Chester is capable of adapting to change, and a share of the £18.7 million awarded to the North West from the regeneration fund will provide a welcome boost to the small and independent businesses which are a key part of Chester’s high street.

Impact on New Businesses
The funding should incentivise new and innovative businesses to move into regenerated buildings, whilst existing businesses will receive the help required to flourish in today’s competitive market. These changes will benefit consumers by making a greater choice of products available to them and in turn, businesses will thrive from increased consumer spending.
Helping our struggling High Street should boost the local economy and entice visitors, residents and workers to the area.
With this initiative can we look forward to our high street being at the heart of our community once more?

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