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The government has announced that it will be allocating £6.1m to British BID.
Chloe Shakesby

Government announces £6.1m fund to support UK high streets

The government has announced that it will be allocating £6.1m to help high streets across the country.

In the announcement today, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said that Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across the UK will receive support to cover their day to day costs for the next 3 months.

The announcement comes after a series of requests by British BID for support through the coronavirus lockdown.

High streets minister, Simon Clarke, commented: “The government has announced a comprehensive programme of support for businesses to help them deal with the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and today we are extending that support to Business Improvement Districts.

“BIDs are uniquely placed and have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, empowering communities, championing our town centres and driving forward the renewal of our high streets.

“It’s only right that during these unprecedented times we give them all the necessary support they need to continue operating, so that they can carry on their vital work now and crucially when we move into the recovery phase from the current crisis.

British BID’s Chris Turner added: “Government has listened to the requests that we have made on behalf of the BID industry.

“I am exceptionally grateful to the numerous BIDs that have actively supported and engaged with this process, particularly those who joined in our initial Q&A sessions and completed the online survey which, together, provided us with the evidence that we needed.

“My thanks also must go to those levy paying businesses that have backed their BIDs in the request for assistance and to the ATCM and the BID Foundation who have worked in partnership with us on this.

“I am pleased that the outcome is this announcement of much needed support for the industry.”

Bill Addy, chair of The BID Foundation, said: “BIDs have already stepped up to support those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“This includes working with local councils, emergency services and businesses to ensure help and information gets to those who need it; supporting shuttered shops to adapt and deliver their services online; and helping to coordinate safe and secure spaces that meet health advice.

“This new government support is a partial safeguard for BIDs, which are paid for by their member businesses, and will enable them in the short term to continue their vital local efforts now and to plan for the future.”

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