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High street loan fund looks to boost towns

The latest round of the £500,000 British Improvement Districts (BIDs) Loan Fund will be open to local business owners and groups that come together to bid for financial support to improve their improve business districts and services.

To date, the Government has provided 29 loans of £10,000-£50,000 through the BIDs process, and the loan funding has been used in various ways such as pedestrianising high streets.

One of the biggest success stories of this initiative has been in Altrincham, where £40,000 was used to transform a market hall into a food and culture hub back in 2014. The town went from an area with a shop vacancy rate of 30%, to winning the prize for England’s best high street during the 2018 Great High Street Awards

"BIDs have a proven track record of upgrading commercial areas to enable business owners and entrepreneurs in our town centres and high streets to thrive," says Jake Berry, High Streets Minister.

"Our Loan Fund is designed to provide them with the means to drive regeneration forward and meet local needs."

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