A HIGH STREET is set to receive a major funding boost in a bid to inject some life back into the town’s shopping area.
Gosport High Street will receive a portion of a £95m funding pot, which is being shared out by Historic England.
The funding boost comes as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone initiative. Gosport became a Heritage Action Zone in June this year.
While the exact amount being allocated to Gosport is currently unknown, hopes are high that this money will protect the high street’s future.
In the past 12 months, both McDonald's and Dorothy Perkins have moved out of the high street, although a Travelodge is being built.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Councillor Mark Hook, said: ‘I’m delighted that Historic England recognises the scale of heritage assets within Gosport Town Centre and is supportive of efforts to create a High Street Heritage Action Zone, furthering local and regional partner efforts to safeguard and re-purpose some of Gosport’s historic buildings.'
Among the principles of the project is that: ‘Disused or underused buildings will be transformed into creative spaces, offices, shops and housing. This revival will become the catalyst for wider regeneration, with heritage and local character at its heart..’
Regional director for Historic England, Emily Gee, added: ‘We are delighted that the historic character and local commitment to Gosport high street is being harnessed for regeneration.
‘Through partnerships like these, heritage can be a great catalyst for change and we look forward to working with the people and businesses of Gosport to deliver these projects together for the future of the place.’
The money for the scheme comes from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has given her backing to the announcement. ‘This £95m will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit,’ she said.