West Berkshire Council has this week submitted an Expression of Interest to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. The £675m national scheme could see a number of improvements to Thatcham High Street including highways improvements, enhancement of the public conveniences and refurbishment of the streetscene.
The scheme, which was launched in December, allows councils to apply for grants to improve town centres that local authorities feel could benefit from investment.
The bid has attracted support from a wide range of local stakeholders including local MP, Richard Benyon, Newbury Weekly News editor, Andy Murrill, and Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership CEO, Tim Smith as well as representatives from both political parties on West Berkshire Council and the third sector.
Success at the expression of interest stage will enable the council to submit a full business case application for funding to support several strategic projects and investments in the town.
Speaking about the bid, Bryan Lyttle, West Berkshire Council’s Planning and Transport Policy Manager, said:
“We are currently refreshing our Local Plan and we feel that the opportunity to bid for this particular Fund is timely for Thatcham. We’ve put a lot of effort into our bid and the community in Thatcham is behind it, so we are really hopeful about our chances of success.”
An announcement of which towns have been successful is expected in the summer.