Since becoming an MP, one of my main focuses has been on town centre regeneration and supporting our high streets, writes Ben Bradley MP.
High streets are the centre of local communities, home to some of our most loved shops and cafes and providing an important hub for local facilities.
Mansfield town centre has so much potential.
It has some fantastic architecture and a great market heritage,
But we all need to be more proactive if we want to revitalise our town and support our local small businesses and shops.
The Government recently announced a new £62 million fund to support historic high streets across the country.
This includes £44 million of Government and Historic England funding to create High Streets heritage action zones, which will be overseen by Historic England.
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The scheme will give councils, businesses and community groups access to expert advice and investment to regenerate local areas, bring historic buildings back into use and support historic high streets to adapt to the challenges they face.
Town centres across the country are facing increasing pressures from online shopping and out-of-town shopping centres.
But town centres are filled with character.
I hope that with access to Government funding, Mansfield can invest to boost footfall in the town centre and ensure that it is a hub of activity.
This is a great opportunity for local stakeholders to come together and bid for some funding so that we can all revitalise our town and support our listed buildings and market heritage.
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I’ve written to Mansfield Council encouraging them to bid for money and offering my support for any application that it submits.
The funding bid also needs to focus on a conservation area within the town centre.
I’d be keen to hear ideas from residents about what more we can be doing to improve the town centre.
Please get in touch with any suggestions for where we should be focusing on and if you have any ideas for preserving our heritage at the same time as backing local businesses.