Funding boost could help improve and transform town centre

Haverhill could be set for a slice of a government funding pot to improve High Streets Picture: MICH

Haverhill could be set for a slice of a government funding pot to improve High Streets Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD - Credit: Archant

Haverhill could be set for a share of a £675million government funding pot to help improve and transform town High Streets.

West Suffolk councils will bid for a slice of the recently announced Future High Street Fund where councils across the country can apply for grants to improve town centres.

Haverhill is the “best fit” for meeting the government’s funding criteria with projects and initiatives either in place or ready to be worked up, according to the council.

The bid will go through the council’s democratic processes before any submission is made to meet the March 22 government deadline for expressions of interest.

Due to the population size of the new West Suffolk Council – which will be formed next month following a merger between St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council – the new single authority will be able to make a second bid in due course.

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In a joint statement, St Edmundsbury councillor Susan Glossop, cabinet Member for planning and growth and Forest Heath councillor Lance Stanbury, cabinet member for planning and growth, said they wanted to “seize the chance” to access the funding.

“Like all our west Suffolk towns and villages Haverhill is full of potential,” they said.

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“We want to seize the chance to access this government funding and work with local communities and partners to drive further improvements.

“In this case Haverhill is the best fit for the funding criteria and we will be working up the detailed submission of interest to submit by March 22.”

The councillors added that the latest bid is part of the council’s aim to invest in the area’s economy.

“In the meantime we will be asking people to show their support for the bid to help get the funds and will be explaining how they can do their bit.

“We already work closely with One Haverhill, the town council and other public sector colleagues on ways to support local communities and businesses.

“As part of our drive to manage growth and encourage prosperity we have been investing in our towns and villages and bidding successfully for external funding.

“This latest bid is part of West Suffolk Council’s aim to boost the local economy and invest in the future of our area,” they added.

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