£3m regeneration boost for district's high streets

Folkestone & Hythe District Council is investing £3 million into our high streets to help futureproof them for our local communities.

FOLKESTONE TOWN CENTRE

The High Streets Fund will support projects which sustain these community retail heartbeats in our district, having received the support of cabinet members last night (September 11).

Folkestone town centre will benefit from up to £2.2 million of the fund, with the remaining £800,000 allocated to other high streets across the district. The funding split ensures the money has the greatest positive impact on the district's economy and ensures that Folkestone remains an important East Kent retail centre.

We believe this money will support and sustain our high streets by helping them adapt for the future. With many retailers facing pressures - including from the rise of online sales - our high streets are undergoing structural changes which need to be addressed. Investing in innovative ideas will encourage more residents and visitors to explore our already wide-ranging high street offering, and ensure the town centres in Folkestone and Hythe not only survive - but thrive.Cllr David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet Member for the District Economy

The fund will be used to develop a masterplan for Folkestone town centre - as well as provide funding for capital schemes, key infrastructure projects, and 'softer' initiatives to improve the high street experience for all.

Exciting regeneration plans currently being considered for the future use of the Debenhams store in Sandgate Road are progressing well.

Property owners and external organisations can apply for grants between £5,000 and £50,000 for up to 50% of project costs to bring forward initiatives to improve the district's high streets. These include external renovation and improvements to commercial property, events, and other enhancements of the townscape.

The High Streets Fund will be launched on Tuesday 1 October, and run until the end of March 2021 or when all of the funds have been allocated. Those interested in applying will be able to do so online through the folkestone.works website.

Date published: 12 September 2019