Government urged to provide cash for Cranbrook centre

PUBLISHED: 16:56 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 08 April 2019




Councils appeal to Minister to change the criteria for allocating money from the Future High Streets Fund

Council leaders have jointly called on government to extend funding to create and improve town centres in new towns like Cranbrook.

East Devon District Council and Cranbrook Town Council leaders have written to Jake Berry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to request eligibility criteria for the Future High Streets Fund be changed to include new towns.

The £675 million Fund was launched in December 2018 to help modernise high streets and town centres. It was launched following recommendations from retail expert Sir John Timpson. It is designed to help local authorities adapt to the changing needs of high streets.

EDDC leader Councillor Ian Thomas said: “As the newest town in Devon, Cranbrook has been leading the way in the creation of new towns as a blueprint for others to follow. Cranbrook is a shining example, providing great facilities for its residents at the same time as new homes have been built, such as a train station, two schools, neighbourhood shops and a community building.

“Residents have been waiting patiently for a town centre, to act as the heart of the town. The Future High Streets Fund could help to kick start an exciting town centre for Cranbrook, if the qualifying criteria were changed to include new towns.”

Councillor Kevin Blakey, chairman of Cranbrook Town Council, said: “Cranbrook Town Council was very disappointed to learn that Cranbrook did not meet the eligibility criteria for the latest round of the Future High Street Fund. Future rounds of the fund need to consider the benefits of supporting new towns like Cranbrook with this funding because these offer the opportunity to take a large unused space and turn it into a blueprint for a sustainable and vibrant town centre for the future.”

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