Rugby council's attempt to apply for share in £1bn fund to boost town centres is snubbed

Rugby town centre, file image.
Rugby town centre, file image.

Leamington and Nuneaton have made it to a shortlist of towns that could receive a share of a £1 billion fund to renew struggling town centres – but Rugby council’s request for support for our town centre has been rejected.

The Future High Streets Fund, launched in December 2018, aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives economic growth and improves living standards.

Fifty towns were set to benefit from the funding but, as rumours abound of a General Election in autumn, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an additional 50 towns will benefit – increasing the fund by £325 million to make a total of £1 billion.

Councils interested in receiving funding had to put forward an expression of interest.

Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, told the Advertiser: “We submitted an application to the Future High Streets Fund earlier this year when the Government first invited ‘expressions of interest’.

“The Government received more than 320 applications for funding, with only 100 proceeding to the next stage of the process.

"We’re now seeking feedback on our expression of interest so we can consider submitting an application for future funding opportunities.”

If successful, candidates such as Leamington and Nuneaton will progress to the second phase of the Future High Streets Fund and receive up to £150,000 to support their project proposals.

Boris Johnson said: “Our high streets are right at the heart of our communities, and I will do everything I can to make sure they remain vibrant places where people want to go, meet and spend their money.

“This scheme is going to reenergise and transform even more of our high streets – helping them to attract new businesses, boost local growth, and create new infrastructure and jobs.”

The Advertiser is in the process of requesting a copy of Rugby council's application for the funding.