James Sunderland questions the Government on efforts to preserve and improve our high streets

James Sunderland asks the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media and Sport about Government support to preserve and improve our high streets.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

Retail is important, and my constituency contains the excellent new Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell and many fine shops in Crowthorne, Sandhurst and Finchampstead. Will the Secretary of State outline what is being done to preserve and enhance the high street? [906576]

Oliver Dowden

I wholeheartedly agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of our historic high streets, which are more than just places to go to eat, shop and work; they give people a real sense of identity and pride in their communities. That is why last week I was delighted to announce £95 million to restore 68 historic high streets across all of England to their historic glory, from Hexham to Plymouth to Reading and, of course, near my hon. Friend’s constituency. The four-year programme shows that this Government are delivering on our promise to level up across the country and it will also ensure that high streets recover more quickly from the pandemic.