Selaine Saxby MP has today welcomed the announcement that £6,548,876 in funding has been finalised by the Communities Secretary to invest in Barnstaple town centre following the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government’s review of the updated proposal.
Ms. Saxby was proud to support the local authority’s bid for this funding for Barnstaple, and was very pleased to be informed by Luke Hall MP, Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, of the positive outcome this morning. The Minister expressed that he looked forward to working with Ms. Saxby to transform the local high street and town centre into an even more vibrant place to live, work, and shop.
The plans will see the redevelopment of Butchers Row, Queen Street and Boutport Street and the establishment of a new ‘Markets Quarter’ in Barnstaple. The funding would address the derelict listed building and facade in Boutport Street by redeveloping it into a new ‘gateway’ linking Queen Street car park to Butcher’s Row, which would be pedestrianised.
The link will help ‘maximise the opportunities’ within the Pannier Market and Guildhall to provide space for local artists and creators. In the same week that has seen confirmation of £275,000 of Arts Council funding to secure the future of the Queen’s Theatre, this is the start of significant improvements in Barnstaple.
The Government launched “Our Plan for the High Street” at Budget 2018, which included £675 million for a Future High Streets Fund. The aim of this Fund is to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves experience, and ensures future sustainability by supporting transformative and structural changes to selected areas.
Selaine Saxby MP for North Devon said:
”I have met with many ministers since I was elected to highlight how vital this project was to the future of Barnstaple. High streets have had an incredibly difficult time during the pandemic and I hope this funding will deliver dramatic improvements to the town centre, that will secure its long term future as a cultural and shopping hub.
“This is happening at the same time as Barnstaple in Bloom is being revived, which I hope will be an opportunity for many businesses and community groups, as well as our local councils, to work together to improve the appearance of the town centre.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“As the country gets back on its feet, the government has renewed its commitment to levelling up and tackling the issues that really matter to people.
“Making sure our children get the best possible education, transforming our town centres and correcting the regional imbalance of public sector roles – this is levelling up in action.
“Not only will we beat the pandemic and recover from its impact, I am determined to seize the opportunity it presents to create a fairer society, improve lives and build back better once and for all.”