Haverhill is being urged to get behind West Suffolk Councils' bid to secure millions of pounds of funding to help improve the High Street
Residents are being asked to support proposals to bid for millions of pounds of new Government funding to help transform Haverhill High Street.
Local MP Matt Hancock has already shown his support for the bid and has said: “I’m supporting West Suffolk Council’s bid for part of the £675 million Future High Street Fund to improve Haverhill.
“Haverhill is a fantastic town and, with additional funding for the local community and businesses, the High Street it will be even better.”
The bid will be to the recently announced £675 million Future High Street Fund, where councils from across the UK can apply for a share of the grant.
But Government will decide which bids are successful.
West Suffolk is set to put Haverhill forward in a bid for part of the new Government fund to help improve and transform town High Streets.
Councillors are asking Haverhill people, businesses and partners to get behind the bid and show their support in applying for the funding.
People can back the bid by giving messages of support online at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/HighStreetBid or comment on the Haverhill Echo Facebook Page (just search for Haverhill Echo on Facebook) as well as the local Haverhill, Suffolk Facebook page.
Support can also be given on any of the West Suffolk Council’s social media channels.
West Suffolk Councils has already either invested heavily or attracted external grants for local market towns and rural areas.
For this particular fund Haverhill best meets the criteria set down by Government with projects and initiatives either in place or ready to be worked up.
The bid will go through the council’s democratic processes before any submission is made to meet the March 22 Government deadline for expressions of interest.
Due to the population size of the new West Suffolk Council, which will be created in April, the authority will also be able to make a second bid in due course.
One of the reasons to create the new West Suffolk Council was the ability to better lobby for funding from Government, such as this.
St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Susan Glossop, Cabinet Member for Planning and Growth and Forest Heath District Councillor Lance Stanbury, Cabinet Member for Planning and Growth, said: “We, with partners, invest heavily in all our towns and rural areas across West Suffolk and are constantly looking for ways to access more funding.
“Haverhill meets the criteria for the funding in this case and therefore has the best chance of success.
“But we need Government to know that local residents support it. Please log on and back the bid. Haverhill is full of opportunities, great communities and businesses.
“This is looking at what Haverhill will be in years ahead by investing in its future.
“Once the council has gone through its own democratic process the massages of support will be sent with any bid we take forward.”
Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Haverhill has strong communities, innovative businesses and is a crucial part of West Suffolk and the Cambridge sub-region, helping to drive the UK economy.
“We invest in all our towns and villages but this bid is a great opportunity for Haverhill not only to benefit from this Government funding but spearhead nationally what High Streets and town centres should, and could, be in the future.
“I know from the years of talking to people and businesses in Haverhill that this is best done by working together.
“That’s why we are asking people to indicate their support and tell Government to back our bid for this Future High Street funding.”
Haverhill town councillor and mayor, Tony Brown, said: “The town council is fully supportive of bringing investment to Haverhill and our thriving communities and businesses.
“This is a great place to live and know that if successful we could put this funding to good use for the town and our High Street area.
“This is about Haverhill’s future and looking ahead to what a High Street could be and not about what it is now.
“Please show your support and make sure Government knows they should back our bid.”
Guidance from Government suggests a successful bid could get anything on average between £5 to £10 million.