Ryde, Newport, Gosport and Poole have been given a boost after 'Historic England' announced the towns were part of a £95 million project to revitalise historic high streets across the UK.
They're four of the 69 areas chosen for regeneration, transforming disused buildings into shops, houses and community centres.
UK High streets have struggled in recent years as more shoppers look to buy online - the funding aims to help traditional businesses adapt.
Councillor Michael Lilley, Mayor of the City of Ryde said:
“I am delighted to hear this news. Ryde has a great heritage and we need to celebrate this. This recognition will enable us to regenerate our town and start a programme of bringing our high street back to its former glory."
Councillor Julie Jones Evans, Chair of Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council said:
“We have strong partnership working in Newport and we recognise that this funding is a key first step towards economic regeneration of our high street and will provide a lasting legacy and foundation for transformational change. Our plans include utilising the HE Streets for all principles, shop front improvements as well maximising benefits from the cultural programme.”
A former cinema in Newport, Isle of Wight. Picture credited to Historic England.
Gosport Town Centre. Picture credited to Historic England.
The Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Councillor Mark Hook said:
“I’m delighted that Historic England recognises the scale of heritage assets within Gosport Town Centre and is supportive of efforts to create a High Street Heritage Action Zone, furthering local and regional partner efforts to safeguard and re-purpose some of Gosport’s historic buildings.”