I am delighted that high streets across Thirsk and Malton will receive £291,493 to be spent on attracting people back to the high streets post-lockdown. Hambleton will receive £80,700, Ryedale £49,265 and Scarborough, which includes Filey, will receive £161,528.
The Government is investing a total of £56 million through the Welcome Back Fund to help councils prepare for the end of lockdown when it is safe to do so. This is part of a wider package of measures to revitalise high streets and level up communities, including steps to make it easier and safer for hostelries to serve customers outdoors and set up market stalls this summer. Councils will be able to use the funding to hold street markets and festivals, boost the look and feel of their high streets, with more seating areas wherever possible.
The aim is to
• Make it easier for hospitality businesses to operate as takeaways and host markets and stalls.
• Enable businesses like pubs and restaurants to use their land more flexibly, for example by setting up a marquee or creating new outside space
• Extend pavement licenses for another 12 months, so venues can continue serving customers ‘al fresco’ for longer without red tape.
• Tackle cowboy private parking firms whose rogue practices can keep visitors away from town.
I know my constituents can’t wait for life to get back to normal starting with pubs opening outdoors from April 12th and so it’s really good news that our pubs and eateries are given some help to enable them to welcome customers back in a safe and comfortable way. Where restrictions have allowed eating outside has become a new normal and I look forward to seeing how they take advantage of these funds to make eating and drinking outside a success.
Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick said: “As we move to the next stage on the roadmap out of lockdown we are all looking forward to being reunited with friends and family outdoors and making a safe and happy return to our favourite shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Our Welcome Back Fund gives every city, town and high street support to prepare for a great summer. This funding will help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners and tourists back safely. As soon as the roadmap allows, we need to get behind our local businesses and enjoy all that this country has to offer and that we’ve been missing so much. I’m allowing every pub in the country to erect a marquee in their garden for the whole summer as a one-off power to support our locals.”
The Government has also supported high street businesses throughout the pandemic with targeted tax cuts, business rates relief and grants as part of an economic package worth £407 billion.