The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership has launched a new fund to support the recovery of town centres.

A key element of Enterprise M3’s Economic Recovery Plan is the safe re-opening of town centres. A capital fund of half a million pounds is available to support social distancing, transport safety and measures to help long-term vitality.

The LEP is looking for pilot projects that can be delivered quickly and keep people safe as restrictions begin to ease in areas high streets, commercial centres and transport hubs. The LEP is also looking for interventions which might be suitable for wider rollout across the region and/or the UK.

Dave Axam, EM3 Chair said:

“I’m delighted that EM3 has quickly responded with the Supporting Town Centres Fund at a time of national emergency. The EM3 region is highly regarded as an area of leadership in innovation and I have no doubt the projects funded will make a significant impact on how town centres recover from Covid-19.

The Government has asked the nation to focus on how public transport, walking and cycling can be made safer; this programme will seek to deliver exactly that.”

The fund will cover pedestrian space, movement of people, queuing requirements and traffic management but proposals which fit the aims of the programme outside of these categories will also be considered.

In recognition of the urgency of the current situation, bids from both the private and public sectors of up to £100,000 can be submitted from today with an in principle decision being made by 23rd June. A second deadline of 26th June will also be available for more complex proposals.