Mayor of London’s High Street Fund
Details have been released of the Mayor’s High Street Fund, which supports the flourishing of local high streets by awarding grants to organisations looking to make improvements.
What is the fund for?
The fund is intended to strengthen local high streets within London and counter pressures from online and retail park shopping, so that they remain welcoming, diverse, distinctive and growing places. They want to bring people onto our High Streets, and encourage local stakeholders to take responsibility for vision and strategy. With a lot of churches sited on high streets, and shared aims of promoting human flourishing, this fund could work to our advantage.
£9m from the Mayor of London, to invest in High Streets, split into grants of:
- Under £20,000 for discrete projects, which would require 25% match funding.
These should be deliverable in the short term. Innovative physical interventions will be preferred, but proposals may include revenue funding for events, support for the preparation of neighbourhood plans or proactive town centre strategies, or help establishing effective town centre management.
- Up to £200,000 for projects in partnership with town teams, local authorities and BIDs, which would require 50% match funding.
These include capital interventions, events and activities such as business support, training and making plans for long-term coordination and action.
The funding comes with some project support from the Mayor’s office.
Who would be eligible?
Community groups and charities, ideally working in partnerships, located on high streets. Regenerating ‘Outer London’ is prioritized, and applications need a coherent plan and to be for more than ‘business as usual’.
How could the fund be used by churches?
A wide variety of uses are supported, including capital funding. For example:
- Opening the building or churchyard for wider community use – cafes, flexible workspace, promoting enterprise and innovation – including physical improvements to accessibility and signage. Other capital projects which involve improving the ‘look and feel’ of a high street.
- Pop-up events in under-used spaces, including festivals
- Audits to establish a baseline for usage/engagement and criteria for regular ‘health checks’ – parishes may be undertaking suitable community audits as part of a MAP exercise.
- Feasibility studies, workshops, meetings which bring together community groups and partners to define vision and strategy for the high street so it is well designed and managed
What’s involved in an application?
There is a fairly straightforward online application process, requiring basic but thorough information about what’s proposed. This includes costings, outputs and outcomes, permissions needed etc. The submission deadline is 1 December 2014.
If you intend to apply, the Strategic Development team will hold surgery sessions to assist with developing your application. For information, contact Elizabeth Harrison.
More information about the Fund is available from the GLA website. The prospectus is also available.