New support package launched to aid high streets reopening

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A lone member of the public walks along an empty high street in Exeter city centre on April 02, 2020 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

High Streets Task Force has launched a range of support for high streets in England, ahead of shops reopening from 15 June.

The government also announced the appointment of regeneration expert Mark Robinson as the new Chair of the Task Force Board.

The High Streets Task Force, which was commissioned by the government in 2019 as part of its Plan for the High Streets, will provide access to cutting-edge tools, training, information and advice to help high streets get back on their feet.

The support package, which is open to local councils and all organisations involved with high streets, follows the opening of the government’s £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund which will support local councils to safely reopen their high streets and other commercial areas.

“The re-opening of our High Streets will be a crucial part of kick-starting our economic recovery and restarting town life,” High Streets Minister Simon Clarke

“That is why I welcome the appointment of Mark Robinson to head up the High Streets Task Force. I know that Mark will be a strong voice for ensuring that local businesses get the support they need to reopen safely in the coming weeks.

“Combined with our £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, the work of the Task Force will support our high streets through this challenging time and ensure they have the tools they need to get back on their feet.”

Outgoing president of Revo, Robinson has been a leading investor in town centres, having co-founded the developer Ellandi in 2008. At Ellandi, he has raised over £1.5 billion to invest in more than 30 communities across the UK and Northern Ireland.

Robinson commented: “I am delighted and honoured to be asked to lead this initiative. No-one underestimates the challenges to our town centres, but this long-term initiative, running until 2024, shows the government’s commitment to our towns and the transformation required. I look forward to making change happen.”