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Extra Funding for Councils Awarded to Facilitate Summer Openings

22nd March 2021

It has been announced that local councils will be awarded sums of money to ensure they are adequately prepared to help businesses deal with high levels of customers during the re-opening phase.

The extra cash injection was announced by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The initiative is part of Robert Jenrick’s pledge to deliver a “Great British Summer” after COVID restrictions are eased under the government’s recovery roadmap.

A total of £56.1 million will be divided across regions in England under the ‘Welcome Back Fund’, which will aim to help councils boost local tourism and businesses as well as improve outdoor community areas in the safest possible manner.

This support is primarily intended to aid coastal regions who are reliant on tourism for their economies. 

Additionally, the funding will also look to give high streets a makeover by planting flowers, removing graffiti and introducing new park areas in an attempt to kickstart local areas reliant on retail footfall.

Mr. Jenrick was optimistic about his commitment, hoping the grant would give “every city, town and high street support to prepare for a great summer” adding it would also “help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners and tourists back safely.”

The measures, to go along with further extensions to business operating licences, will work alongside support schemes offered by the High Streets Task Force. The organisation currently offers retail and hospitality businesses guidance in diagnosing the issues blocking transformation, whilst recommending ways to make positive change happen on the high street.

Regional allocations of the Welcome Back Fund:

East Midlands (England) £4.9 million
East of England £6.1 million
London £8.2 million
North East (England) £2.5 million
North West (England) £7.7 million
South East (England) £9.6 million
South West (England) £5.5 million
West Midlands (England) £6.2 million
Yorkshire and The Humber £5.4 million

The initial cash sums seem to be inconsequential when compared with other government COVID-support schemes. Hopefully this is the first of many cash injections to help reinvigorate the high street and coastal towns.

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