Stoke awarded share of Government's £95m historic high street fund

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Stoke is to receive up to £2million to transform vacant buildings within the city's historic high streets.

The town is one of 69 areas told it can start spending the cash, which was announced by the Government in May.

The focus in the town will be on creating residential spaces above shops on Church Street and around the Spode site.

The investment builds on the £900,000 previously given by Historic England to restore and develop the 120-year-old Sutherland Chambers.

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration and heritage, tweeted: "Great news to be awarded up to £2m for Heritage High Streets from Historic England and Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport for Stoke town.

"It will totally transform centre of Stoke and Spode!"

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said: "Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world, attracting millions of visitors to beautiful historic buildings that sit at the heart of our communities.

"It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.

"This £95 million will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit."

Historic England’s Chief Executive, Duncan Wilson said: " Our high streets are the beating hearts of our communities. Many have roots that go back hundreds of years.

"Their historic buildings and distinctive character tell the story of how our towns and cities have changed over time. They are places where people come together to socialise, shop, run businesses and be part of their local community, but now they face an uncertain future.

"Through physical improvements and cultural activities, we will work with partners to find new ways to regenerate our high streets.

"It is a challenge, but with our experience and track record, as well as the knowledge and passion of local councils, businesses and community groups our historic high streets can be thriving social hubs once more."

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