Telford loses out in bid for government high street funding

The government has snubbed two bids for funding to improve two of the county's high streets.

Wellington town centre
Wellington town centre

Telford & Wrekin Council lost out after neither Wellington or Oakengates were selected to benefit from the the Government's £675m Future High Streets Fund.

Shropshire lost out entirely on the funding with Shropshire Council also unsuccessful with bids for money to improve high streets in Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

The Telford authority has said it is disappointed at the outcome, and will apply for future rounds of the money.

Spokesman Russell Griffin said: "Telford & Wrekin Council was allowed to submit two bids into the Government’s £675m Future High Streets Fund. Based on the eligibility criteria for the fund, the council submitted expressions of interest for Wellington and Oakengates as the borough towns with the closest fit in terms of size, challenges and opportunities.

"The Ministry (Housing, Communities and Local Government) received over 300 expressions of interest for the fund and 50 places have gone through to the second round.

Strong case

"We are disappointed that despite us submitting a very good bid, the Government seems to have directed funding towards larger centres of population. Every high street has issues like the ones that market towns like Wellington and Oakengates are facing.

"We believe that Wellington and Oakengates have a very strong case and we will be re-submitting bids when further bidding rounds are announced.

"We will continue to work with partners across our five borough High Streets to maximise the effect of the funding we have put in place through our Pride In Your High Streets programme."

Mr Griffin said that the council had submitted another bid for funding, this time for Ironbridge.

"In the meantime, the council has submitted a bid for Ironbridge for the ‘High Street Heritage Action Zone’ programme – part of the Governments high street programme, this is a £55m fund being managed by Historic England, aimed at the regeneration of heritage high streets. The council has also supported a bid by Newport into the same fund," he added.

"We will continue to press to make sure Telford and Wrekin’s voice in Parliament is more effective when it comes to securing funding from Government."

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