Newton Abbot set to receive major funding boost to ‘breathe new life’ into high street

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Newton Abbot is set to receive Future High Streets funding announced yesterday by the Prime Minister to regenerate its town centre.

Newton Abbot is set to benefit from a multi-million pound investment from government as the result of a successful bid from Teignbridge Council for funding for the town centre.

In an announcement made yesterday (Monday 26th August), Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed a £1 billion funding boost under the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, which aims to breathe new life into town centres across the country.
Council Leader Gordon Hook has welcomed the announcement, as one of just 100 successful towns and cities across the UK to have received the hotly-contested cash.

He said: “This announcement marks a significant day in the fortunes of Newton Abbot and will have a wider impact on our other Teignbridge town centres.

“I’m immensely proud of the community spirit that drives our town, and we have huge ambitions for its future. This funding will complement and drive forward other major schemes we have already earmarked for the town including building a new hotel and 4-screen cinema in the town centre, improving flood defences, and securing a more environmentally sustainable infrastructure for the town.”

The fund was set up to assist local high streets to evolve and adapt to the changing retail landscape, encouraging the development of vibrant town and city centres where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time.

The windfall comes as a result of the Council’s bid earlier this year to make the case for additional funding to deliver improvements to Newton Abbot town centre, at just under £10m of funding to regenerate the area.

The proposed scheme includes plans to refurbish Market Walk, improve town centre parking, introduce a flood prevention scheme for the town and improve the overall appearance of the town centre. Additional revenue funding will provide a cycle route through the town and improvements to the market area.

Cllr Hook added: “We are making decisions to stimulate the local economy and are seeing Newton Abbot town centre begin to blossom. We are seeing new traders to our town markets, and new national brands are opening stores on the high street, bucking the national trend.

“In a changing and uncertain world we are seeking to retain what is the essential character of our great town, while ensuring a sustainable and resilient future.”

Around 300 local authorities were part of the initial bid for a share of the Future High Streets Fund, and Cllr Hook praised officers for their ambition and commitment to the bid.

He said: “This was a highly competitive process and our teams have done a fantastic job securing what is a highly significant pot of funding, which will provide the catalyst to the town’s transformation.”

Teignbridge Council will now submit detailed plans showing how it will allocate the funding to its proposed scheme.

Local Teignbridge District Councillors Jackie Hook and Robert Hayes also welcomed the news.

Cllr Jackie Hook said: “I greatly welcome this funding boost for our town centre. Newton Abbot town centre is doing well against the national picture but as with any town needs to adapt to changing circumstances.

“This money will allow us to invest in a sustainable and resilient future for the town centre, allowing us to thrive as best we can in the face of external national and world threats, in particular any potential economic downturn and the climate emergency.”

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