The Prime Minister has set out the steps the government will take to deliver on the central purpose of his premiership – to level up and unite the United Kingdom.
The regeneration of the great British high street will form a key part of the Prime Minister’s speech next week, with a new High Streets Strategy to revolutionise local communities and support them to thrive.
Al fresco dining will become the norm, with pavement licences to be extended and then made permanent, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to set up tables outside and serve more customers.
Takeaway pints will continue for another 12 months as the temporary permissions for off-sales of alcohol are extended. This will give a further boost to the hospitality industry as local residents enjoy a great British summer together outdoors.
The government has renewed its commitment to support local sports teams as a central part of levelling up opportunities for all.
£25 million has been committed to build new grass roots sports facilities, equivalent to 50 new artificial pitches, to ensure that all football fans have the chance to play their favourite sport.
In his speech next week, the Prime Minister will vow to tackle the inequalities and divisions that the pandemic has entrenched and make sure not to repeat the mistakes of the recovery from the financial crash of 2008.
He will talk about creating a more balanced economy with great jobs in every part of the UK; levelling up between generations; increasing access to opportunity no matter where you live; investing in infrastructure and skills; strengthening community and local leadership; restoring pride in place; and putting local needs at the heart of the government’s approach.
The speech will kick off a summer of engagement seeking views and input ahead of publication of the White Paper in the Autumn.
A Government spokesperson said:
“The Prime Minister is determined to level up the UK and deliver a fairer, stronger society – one where whatever your background and wherever you live, everyone can access the opportunities they need to succeed.
While talent and potential is distributed evenly across this country, opportunity is not.
That’s why as we emerge from the pandemic, it’s vital that we do not make the mistakes of recovery from the financial crash and seize this moment to ensure a better quality of life for people in every part of the UK.”
The high streets strategy is a key part of the Prime Minister’s plan to level up and will deliver visible changes to local areas and communities across England, transforming derelict buildings, cleaning up our streets, and supporting a renewed sense of community for current and future generations.
Councils in England will be given the power to transform towns, taking over derelict buildings through compulsory purchase orders so they can be converted into new homes if property owners stall on regeneration plans. Councils will also be encouraged to use existing powers to convert empty offices into housing, and empty shops will be transformed into entertainment venues or thriving new businesses without the need for planning permission.
Local economies and plans for growth will be boosted with 15 Town Deals totalling £335 million confirmed today. The Town Deals will fund community regeneration projects including repurposing empty shops on high streets, creating new public spaces, transforming a riverfront area into a community hub with entertainment and leisure venues, and creating a new digital enterprise and learning centre. Town Deals have now been offered to all 101 places that were invited to develop proposals.
A list of the confirmed Nottinghamshire Town Deal offers places invited to develop proposals as part of government’s Towns Fund.
Ashfield (joint Kirkby & Sutton) £62.6m