Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Salisbury and Trowbridge high streets shortlisted for multi-million-pound government funding

Salisbury Market PlaceSalisbury and Trowbridge are in line to benefit from major investment to help improve their respective city and town centres after they were successfully shortlisted for millions of pounds of government funding.

The Future High Streets Funds is a £1 billion central government pot of money that is open for applications from towns and cities throughout England.

It recognises the continuing importance of high streets as places where commerce and community meet, and aims to support high streets as they change to meet the needs and expectations of communities now and in the future.

Bids were submitted by Wiltshire Council. Government will now release some initial funding to help develop the proposals in more detail.

Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for South Wiltshire Recovery, said: "This is great news for Salisbury.

"We will now move on with our partners and the community to secure this major investment which will boost our ongoing efforts to grow the economy, increase tourism, and ensure sustainability in Salisbury.

"Our beautiful city has overcome huge challenges and now we're ready for the next step to ensure Salisbury has a strong future."

John Glen MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire said: "For many weeks I have been working with Cllr Pauline Church and Wiltshire Council officers locally whilst lobbying ministerial colleagues in Whitehall.

"The decision to shortlist Salisbury reflects well on the quality of the bid and demonstrates the Government's understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in our great city.

"I will continue to use any other influence I have for the good of the people of Salisbury."

The council says the projects will help transform Salisbury's high streets to become a thriving, modern, connected, mixed economy of retail, residential, employment and culture and tourism.

Salisbury's high streets will maximise the opportunities presented by the city's unique heritage to attract shoppers, visitors and residents with authentic and exciting experiences that everyone can enjoy.

Trowbridge also joins Salisbury in being successfully shortlisted for the next stage of funding.

Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council leader and cabinet member for economic development said: "This is wonderful news that the county town of Wiltshire has been shortlisted for major funding.

"Trowbridge is a historic town which has immense potential. This funding will allow us to invest in major projects that improve Trowbridge for residents, businesses and tourists alike."

The Trowbridge expression of interest recognised a range of opportunities that could help transform the centre. It focused on the main aspects of the town's masterplan, ensuring that the key assets of the river, parks, canal, and historic buildings provide a range of quality spaces and environments, along with improving leisure and shopping opportunities.

The bid for funding in the town includes resources to help improve traffic and to encourage walking and cycling by improving access, enhancements to Castle Place and the Town Hall, and an assessment of development potential around Court Street and Castle Street.

Back in July the government announced Swindon's £25m proposal to transform Fleming Way and the bus station had made it through to the next funding stage.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Our high streets are right at the heart of our communities, and I will do everything I can to make sure they remain vibrant places where people want to go, meet and spend their money.

"This scheme is going to reenergise and transform even more of our high streets – helping them to attract new businesses, boost local growth, and create new infrastructure and jobs."