Armley Town Street misses out on Government regeneration cash

29 July 2019

Armley Town Street has missed out on a slice of a £675 million fund aimed at regenerating local high streets.

Local authorities were encouraged by Government to bid for grants of up to £25 million to be spent to help district centres “facing significant challenges”, with Armley Town Street chosen by Leeds City Council back in March.

But the council has been told that its bid to the Future High Streets Fund had been unsuccessful.

The Government received more than 300 expressions of interest from across the country, with around 50 towns and cities successful.

In a joint statement, Armley councillors Lou Cunningham, Jim McKenna and Alice Smart (all Lab, Armley) expressed their disappointment. They said:

“Armley councillors were extremely disappointed to receive the news that Armley has not been selected to progress to the next round of the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF).

“We have been encouraged to consider renewing our Expression of Interest for support for Armley Town Street for the next round of the Fund, which will be announced in the New Year.

“In the meantime we will continue to support the work of volunteer groups who are working hard to make a difference within our Town Street area , and work with them in looking at the feasibility of creating a Business Improvement District in Armley.”

Leeds City Council’s bid included initial plans to improve the appearance and vitality of Town Street, improve safety for all road users and pedestrians as well as support new investment which respects the heritage of the area.

The money would have helped fund investment in infrastructure, such as public and other transport access, as well as work to help support new housing and workspaces.

It could also have been used towards work to encourage homes and workspaces to replace under-used retail units.

armley town street bid
Politicians and traders celebrate the BID before last week’s Armley Festival. Photo: Mat Dale

As reported earlier this month, Leeds City Council has been successful in securing a £15,000 government loan to help develop and set up a Business Improvement District (BID) covering Armley town centre.

A BID is an extra levy, on top of business rates, that is paid for by business rate payers and used to benefit businesses within a specified area.

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