A Huntingdonshire town is set to be given a new lease of life, after it was announced that it would be shortlisted for a fresh round of funding.

St Neots High Street. Picture: ARCHANTSt Neots High Street. Picture: ARCHANT

St Neots is one of the 100 towns in England that will be given a share of £1bn by the Prime Minister.

Borris Johnson announced on Monday that more than 50 high streets will be supported by the Future High Street Fund, which could be used to improve public transport or converting empty shops.

Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) previously submitted an application to the fund outlining the challenges facing St Neots' High Street and town centre.

Towns across England which now includes St Neots will join 50 successful areas already shortlisted to develop plans to reinvent their high streets.

The extension to the shortlist comes on the back of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund announced last month, which included an additional £325 million for the Future High Streets Fund, taking the overall Fund to £1 billion as the Government looks to drive forward local growth.

Mr Johnson said: "Our high streets are right at the heart of our communities, and I will do everything I can to make sure they remain vibrant places where people want to go, meet and spend their money.

"But with our town centres facing challenges, we're today expanding the High Streets Fund to support over 100 high streets to regenerate - backed by £1bn of vital investment.

"This scheme is going to re-energise and transform even more of our high streets - helping them to attract new businesses, boost local growth, and create new infrastructure and jobs."

The scheme, which is a key part of the Government's plan to reshape town centres, was launched in December 2018.

The Chair of St Neots Masterplan steering sroup, Councillor David Wells, said: "This is really good news for St Neots. The funding will enable us to build on the work of the Masterplan in developing St Neots as an attractive place for all to live, work and enjoy life. We are looking forward to working with the fund to further develop a vibrant town with additional community, leisure, commercial and retail space."

St Neots will now progress to the second phase of the Future High Streets Fund and receive up to £150,000 to support the development of detailed project proposals that can be submitted for capital funding.

The mayor of St Neots councillor Gordon Thorpe said:"I am hoping this money can be used to reduce businesses rates, and to help the town, but £150,000 isn't a lot of money, so we will need to know the terms and conditions before making any decisions."

The scheme was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of the Government's plan to renew and reshape town centres and high streets.

To find out more visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/1-billion-future-high-streets-fund-expanded-to-50-more-areas.