Three North East towns awarded total of £55.9m to transform their high streets

Three North East towns and cities have been awarded a total of £55.9million from the Government to transform their high streets in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sunderland, Blyth and Bishop Auckland will each receive the full funding they applied for from the Future High Streets Fund.

A further four places – including South Shields – have received provisional funding offers totalling up to £42.5 million, and the Government is working with them to finalise their proposals.

The scheme aims to help areas recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and transform underused town centres.

Now the Government has announced three North East high streets have received funding to help them implement their local plans:

  • £25 million to transform Sunderland city centre with a new state-of-the-art library, creative labs and a local history centre.

  • £11.1 million for new cultural and education facilities in Blyth, Northumberland, plus the development of a new building on Market Place and a transformation of the bus depot.

  • £19.9 million for Bishop Auckland, County Durham, to improve its transport, hospitality and leisure offering, while bringing vacant properties back to life.

The four places receiving provisional funding offers in the North East are:

  • South Shields – £5,959187

  • Loftus, Redcar and Cleveland – £14,170,352

  • Middlesbrough Centre – £14,170,352

  • Stockton – £16,543,812

The announcement comes as Communities Minister Robert Jenrick confirmed allocations of up to £830 million funding to regenerate high streets across England as part of the Government’s £1 billion Future High Streets Fund.

Minister for High Streets Kelly Tolhurst said: “The year ahead will be an exciting one for high streets across the North East, with Government investing across the region to boost its much-loved town centres, creating spaces communities can be proud of and delivering on our Plan for Jobs.

“Sunderland will lead the way, with £25 million to help transform the city centre with a new state-of-the-art library, creative labs and local history centre. While Bishop Auckland will receive nearly £20 million to reenergise its town centre and improve the town’s connectivity, hospitality and leisure offering.”

Chronicle Live – Sunderland