Government urged to back £350m fund to revive UK high streets

(This article was published by The Guardian)

Arcade 2021 swept

This article first appeared in The Guardian

Campaigners are calling on the government to back a £350m high street buyout fund that would bring communities, business and councils together to revive 200 neglected properties across the country.

The Platform Places initiative, backed by the government’s own high street taskforce, is calling on ministers to provide £100m in grants.

The funds could, for example, help transform the neglected Dewsbury Arcade in the West Yorkshire town into a community-owned events space, housing arts and crafts makers. Or it could help buy out a derelict milk processing plant in Totnes, Devon, to build homes, an arts centre and youth facilities.

The campaigners say government cash would help underpin £250m of commercial and social investment in the projects.

The drive, which is based on a report by the thinktank Radix, is supported by the British Property Federation and several local councils.

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