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Great Britain

Bradford misses out on funding to revive historic high streets - but Leeds, Huddersfield and Skipton get money

There was disappointment in Bradford today as the district missed out on a share of a £95 million pot of money designed to revive historic shopping areas.

The Government has now named the 69 high streets across England that will benefit from the cash - and none of them are in our district.

To the casual observer, Bradford may have seemed a strong contender for funding to revitalise high streets, but was overlooked in favour of schemes in places such as Leeds, Northallerton and Skipton.

Bradford Council believed that two “strong bids” had been submitted for Bingley town centre and Ivegate, in the city centre.

The Council will now get in touch with project bosses to see what more could have been done to make a success of the bids.

From the overall pot, over £17 million of the money was allocated to Yorkshire and the north-east, with recipients including Barnsley, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough, Sowerby Bridge and Wakefield.

It means Bradford is the only one of the five districts of West Yorkshire to miss out completely.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's executive member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said "Obviously it's disappointing to hear that neither of our bids for the Ivegate area of the city centre or Bingley town centre have gotten through.

" They were both strong bids covering the diverse heritage of our district with lots of support from our partners across both Bingley and the city centre.

"We'll get in touch to find out what more we could have done and go from there. We've got a strong track record in this area with the townscape heritage initiatives in Keighley being successfully completed and the top of town one now underway and we'll continue looking to build on that for the future.

"There were over 200 applications so competition was very fierce for this."

Ministers said towns and cities from Plymouth to Middlesbrough will now be able to start spending the cash, which had previously been announced in May.

The Midlands will receive the largest slice of the funds, with £21.1 million going on projects including £2 million for a project in Coventry's ancient shopping street, The Burges.

On that project, it will be used to buy and restore Coventry's historic buildings in the few areas of the city to survive the bombing in World War Two.

Up to £2 million will also go to Stoke-on-Trent to redevelop vacant buildings within its conservation area with a focus on creating more homes.

Elsewhere, London and the South East will receive £14.3 million, including £2 million to be spend in Tottenham to restore historic shop-fronts on the high street, which saw parts set ablaze during the nationwide riots of 2011.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: "Our nation's heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.

"It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world."

Funding for the projects had already been earmarked earlier this year, with towns and cities invited to apply in May, and sees £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and £52 million from the Government's Future High Street Fund.

A further £3 million will also be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The majority of the cash will be spent on essential repairs to historic buildings, develop educational projects to turn the sites into community hubs, and help increase skills shortages in areas like stonemasonry.

Communities Secretary of State Robert Jenrick said: "Today's funding, part of the £3.6 billion we have committed to helping towns across the country, will revitalise much-loved historic buildings, helping to reverse the decline of our town centres."

Other projects to receive the funding include £1.99 million for Plymouth for regeneration works, education projects and community events to help boost the local high street's heritage buildings.

Wigan will use up to £1.27 million to restore vacant historic buildings to help support the creation of jobs and increasing footfall in the area.

And Scarborough will make key repair works to buildings as well as providing local property owners, residents and trade people with the opportunity to gain practical heritage skills with up to £2 million from the Heritage High Streets fund.

BREAKDOWN OF SPENDING: London and the South East: £14.3 million South West: £13.7 million, East of England: £7 million, Midlands: £21.1 million, North East and Yorkshire: £17.2 million, North West: £18.7 million, Towns and cities receiving funding: North West; Bacup, Rossendale: Barrow in Furness: Blackpool: Burnley: Chester: Fleetwood: Kirkham: Lancaster: Maryport, Cumbria: Ormskirk: Prescot: Stalybridge: Tyldesley, Greater Manchester: Wigan Town Centre: North East & Yorkshire; Barnsley: Hexham: Huddersfield: Hull: Leeds: Middlesbrough: North Shields: Northallerton: Scarborough CA, Castle ward: Selby Town Centre: Skipton: Sowerby Bridge: Wakefield: Midlands; Brierley Hill: Buxton: Coventry: Grantham: Hinckley: Kettering Town Centre: Leicester City Centre: Leominster: Lincoln: Newark-on-Trent Town Centre: Oswestry: Stoke on Trent: Wednesbury Town Centre: East of England; Bedford: Dunstable: Great Yarmouth: King's Lynn: Lowestoft: North Walsham: Swaffham: South West; Chard: Cullompton: Gloucester: Keynsham: Midsomer Norton: Plymouth: Poole: Redruth: Tewkesbury: Weston-Super-Mare: London and the South East; Chatham Intra: Croydon: Gosport: Harlesden: Hastings: Newport: Ramsgate: Reading: Ryde: Tottenham: Tower Hamlets: Woolwich:

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