Henry Smith MP has welcomed £19,574.53 from the Government to clean up Crawley High Street, part of a wider package across England of almost £10 million to improve local town centres.
The funding will improve the quality of high streets around the country, helping to attract more residents and visitors so that local businesses can continue to thrive. It will be used to buy tools such as litter pickers and brushes, as well as providing training for residents on how to remove graffiti or tackle fly-tipping.
“Our high streets are at the heart of our local community. I know that times have been challenging for many town centres lately and our town is no different. That’s why I was delighted to support High Street Saturday last weekend in Crawley.
“This funding announcement will ensure that we keep shopping areas in Crawley looking their best, making it easier to encourage more people to return to the high street.”
The release of the funding coincided with High Street Saturday on 16th March, a new national campaign day to celebrate the place of the high street at the heart of communities across the country.
In addition to encouraging people in Crawley to shop locally, Henry has also written to Crawley Borough Council about making good use of the Future High Streets Fund – a £675 million pot to help local areas modernise their high streets and town centres.
High streets have long been a place to bring communities together, a place for local people to access vital services and a place for businesses to thrive. In recognising that it is becoming harder for businesses on high streets across the country to compete with out-of-town shopping centres and online retailers, the Government has;
· Delivered over £10 billion of business rates support since 2016, including cutting small retailers’ bills by a third.
· Backed community leaders with £675 million of funding to help modernise their high streets and town centres.
· Relaxed planning rules to support new homes on the high street, transforming them into community hubs where people work, live and shop.
This funding will make it easier for local communities to enhance their high streets, and make sure that they are places where the community can come together.
On Tuesday 19th March, the Crawley MP spoke in the House of Commons in support of Government action to cut business rates, saving small retail businesses £900 million.
Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley, asked the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy;
“Last weekend, I was pleased to support High Street Saturday in Crawley town centre. Will my hon. Friend welcome the £900 million in business rate reductions, which is really starting to help small businesses on our high streets?”
The Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Corporate Responsibility, Kelly Tolhurst MP, responded;
“I thank my hon. Friend for giving me the opportunity to welcome this cut in business rates.
“He will also be pleased to hear that, because of the updated forecasts from local authorities, the discount is now worth nearly £1 billion to retailers over two years, further bolstering this Government’s plan for the high street, which is now worth £1.6 billion, and directly benefiting some of our smallest retail businesses.
“My hon. Friend is a great campaigner for Crawley, and I am sure he will continue to ask questions on this subject.”
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