James Sunderland questions Government on regeneration of high streets

James Sunderland asks the Government what is being done to redress the imbalance between global online giants, who have enjoyed a virtual monopoly since the pandemic started, and local high streets. 

High Street Regeneration

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

What plans he has to support the regeneration of high streets. (910656)

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Robert Jenrick)

The Government’s priority throughout the pandemic has been to protect lives and livelihoods, with substantial support flowing to high street businesses through business grants, the paying of people’s wages and tax deferrals. Just last week, the Chancellor announced an additional £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs. I was pleased that on Boxing day we allocated £830 million from our future high streets fund to 72 areas to transform underused town centres into the vibrant places to live, work and visit that we all want to see after the pandemic.

James Sunderland 

Online sellers, global giants and supermarkets have enjoyed a virtual monopoly since the pandemic started, whereas small businesses in Bracknell, Crowthorne, Sandhurst and beyond are often on their knees. What is my hon. Friend going to do to address this growing imbalance?

Robert Jenrick 

That idea lies very much behind the comprehensive package of support that the Chancellor has made available, with £200 billion specifically targeted at supporting small businesses on the high street. It is also why we have brought forward the further top-up grants, worth up to £9,000, to help small businesses through this next—and hopefully final—phase of the pandemic. We will of course continue to review the situation. Such concerns lie at the heart of our plans through the towns fund, the high streets fund and now the future levelling-up fund.