Lancaster has been named as one of 100 towns and cities across the UK to receive support from some of the country’s biggest brands in a bid to transform our high streets.
Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets programme aims to increase footfall by 10 per cent, reduce the number of vacant properties by 20 per cent and stimulate the creation of new jobs in 100 towns over three years.
The programme first launched in June 2014 and is backed by some of the UK’s biggest high street brands, including Boots, EE, Greggs, Marks & Spencer, Santander and new partner Wilko.
Lancaster is one of 33 new high streets selected for the programme across the UK, bringing the total number of participating high streets to the programme target of 100 towns.
It will receive a bespoke package of support, including access to skills and expertise, and dedicated High Street Champions from supporting businesses who will work together with the Lancaster BID team, local authority and relevant local partners to devise an action plan to address the specific challenges facing the town.
The impact results for the three year programme will be announced in July 2017. Over the last year of the programme, it has brought support and resources worth £17 m from its corporate partners into 67 UK high streets.
Santander Universities UK managing director Robin Foale, who is chair of the Healthy High Streets programme, said “Congratulations to Lancaster on being chosen to be part of the Healthy High Streets programme.
“This is a great opportunity to work with the business partners and the local High Street Champions to transform your town and create a thriving, vibrant centre for the local community.”
Business in the Community’s Peter Donohoe said: “One of the most powerful ways for business to make an impact in communities is by creating high streets that are vibrant places to live, work and do business.
“It has been heartening to see first-hand the practical difference that collaborative, business-led action can make on UK high streets over these past two years.
“While there is much to be proud of about our Healthy High Streets Programme we also know that there is more work to be done. We warmly welcome Wilko as programme partners and look forward to working with them to create lasting change.”
Tom Fyson, development manager at Lancaster BID, said “We are delighted to be engaged in this programme with a real opportunity to give Lancaster city centre a boost over the coming year.
“We look forward to working with partners from our local branches to bring new ideas to the city.”