On 26 December 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government announced that £830 million from the Future High Streets Fund would be used to help 72 areas within England recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver ambitious regeneration plans.  

In June 2020, the Prime Minister committed to a “levelling up and unification” of the country. This commitment to all the home nations was then repeated in the Autumn Spending Review, published in November 2020.

For many, levelling up means greater investment across England and not just continuing to support the South, particularly London and the South East. Our research team, working with our planning professionals, have considered whether the investment announced last month supports the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. 

So far, 15 areas across England have been awarded a confirmed £255 million from the Future High Streets Fund. A further 57 areas have received provisional funding offers totalling up to £576 million and the remaining areas are still working to finalise their proposals.

For this analysis, the pattern of funding has been considered based on the English regions of East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, North West, South East, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber. There is no established definition of the South currently, so within the classification we are including the South West, South East, London and East of England. The North includes the remaining regions.

Analysis of the 15 regions with confirmed funding

By considering where the 15 places with confirmed funding are positioned within England, we have analysed which regions currently look to benefit the most from the Future High Streets Fund.

The map below examines how the confirmed spend of £255 million is split regionally: 

 

When the above regions are grouped into North and South, it is clear there is a heavy bias towards the North of England. From the above map, the North accounts for 82% of the total spend, while the South has the remaining 18%.

Analysis of the 57 regions with provisional funding 

By considering where the 57 places with provision funding are positioned within England, we have analysed which regions currently look to benefit the most from the Future High Streets Fund. 

The map below examines how the further provisional spend of £576 million is split regionally: 

When the above regions are grouped into North and South, it is clear that while the North of England is still receiving more funding, the split is less defined than the first 15 areas with confirmed funding, with the South receiving an increased allocation in the provisional spend. From the above map, the North accounts for 63% of the total spend, while the South has the remaining 37%.

Analysis of the overall 72 areas selected to benefit from the Future High Streets Fund

By considering where the 72 places that look to benefit from the funding are positioned within England, we have analysed which regions may gain the most from the Future High Streets Fund. 

The map below examines how the full allocation of £830 million is split regionally:

From the above map, the North accounts for 69% of the total spend of the Future High Streets Fund, while the South has the remaining 31%.

In conclusion

The overall analysis of the regional spend allocation for the Future High Streets Fund clearly demonstrates a 70:30 ratio, with the North of England receiving the lion’s share, and the South of England receiving the remainder. 

The Government has given a clear commitment to levelling up and on the specific initiative of the Future High Streets Fund, the North has received demonstrably more funding than the South, therefore the Government is delivering on their promise. Especially when you consider that London and the South East have received just 12% of the overall total.

Although there is much more to be done across a raft of Government investment platforms, we view this as a positive start so soon after the Autumn Spending Review. There is clearly a lot more to be done to tackle deprivation in all parts of Britain, but on the evidence of this first initiative, the Government is delivering on one of its commitments.

High Street Task Force 

Launched by the Government, The High Streets Task Force is an alliance of place making experts working to redefine the high street. Once the full £830 million from the Future High Streets Fund is allocated, we look forward to seeing how the High Street Task Force will support the benefiting regions in their regeneration plans.

To find out more about current Government policy, or the levelling up agenda, please contact us.

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David is a Partner in the Planning & development team and is based in our Chapel Place office.

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  • Working on the Great West Quarter from the bid stage in 2003 through to the development’s completion in 2015
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Katy is a chartered planning and development surveyor with extensive experience working with private sector clients across London and the South East. Katy joined Planning Perspectives in 2002 before moving across to Carter Jonas with the rest of the team at the end of 2014. Katy advises on various forms of development but is particularly proficient advising on major residentially-led, mixed-use developments.  Her work ranges from providing quick pre-acquisition advice through to managing complex project teams through the planning process and beyond to implementation.  A significant proportion of her work involves adding value to redundant employment sites through complex Section 106 negotiations, transforming such sites into exciting new destinations.

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Peter is a chartered town planner with over 30 years experience. He was a graduate at Healey and Baker and a Director of DTZ. He set up Planning Perspectives in 1997 which was bought by Carter Jonas in December 2014. He provides planning and development advice to private sector clients (including landowners, occupiers, developers and investors) to help unlock the potential of difficult sites and maximise the value of complex mixed use schemes and regeneration opportunities. He has experience in the retail sector having secured permission for - 1.5 million sq ft of food retail floorspace and 750,000 sq ft of on-line distribution space; a business park; industrial and distribution schemes; HQ office buildings; hotels, and educational buildings. He advises a number of golf clubs and has recently obtained permission for a major golf course and luxury hotel. In terms of residential development he is promoting a strategic allocation and has obtained permission for a retirement village, small housing schemes and numerous private houses. He has worked on a number of highly constrained sites, including obtaining permission for a large foodstore on a listed quayside within a World Heritage Site. He has advised on a number of developments involving listed buildings or located within the Green Belt, AONBs and Conservation Areas.

Outside the office Peter is to be found on Woking Golf Course (or any other quality course he has not played previously). He is on the Golf Committee of the Lord’s Taverners and a supporter of Harlequins RFC. 

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Alister is a chartered town planner with over 15 years' experience, gained across the residential, commercial, industrial, education and retail sectors mainly for private landowners and developers. He had a brief spell in the public sector with Canterbury City Council at the start of his career and joined Planning Perspectives in 2001 before moving across with the rest of the Planning Perspectives team to Carter Jonas at the end of 2014. His professional career has largely been focused in London and around the south east of England working on residentially-led, mixed-used schemes, commercial/industrial schemes and large scale energy/infrastructure projects on brownfield land. He was also been involved in successfully promoting education facilities in the Green Belt.

Outside of work, Alister has a keen passion for all sports including football, golf and cricket. Although, this is now more in a watching capacity as his three young children (including twins) have forced him into early playing retirement.

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Jess is based in the Chapel Place office, joining the team from Planning Perspectives. She graduated from the London School of Economics with a Masters in Urbanisation and Development and has worked in planning consultancy since 2007. Jess has experience in negotiating a range of residential, leisure, industrial and mixed-use planning applications and been successful with a number of small residential appeals across the country. In addition, she provides strategic planning advice to clients on their property portfolios. Her clients include a variety of house builders, developers, investors and individuals.

Previously a synchronised swimmer, Jess is always on the hunt for the perfect outdoor pool in a tropical climate.

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Nick is a chartered town planner and development surveyor with over 25 years' experience, gained across the residential, commercial, retail and industrial sectors for corporate, institutional and private landowners and developers. He has worked at CBRE and Drivers Jonas Deloitte. His professional experience is in three main sectors – Strategic Land / Projects, Retail / Mixed-Use and Central London. Strategic Projects / Land involves the promotion of land for commercial and residential development for landowners and developers. Retail / Mixed-Use schemes are a blend of edge of centre and town centre mixed-use schemes with food stores and other uses, often residential. This sector includes regeneration and waterside schemes. Central London focuses on projects from Canary Wharf to Hammersmith and Camden down to Wandsworth, Southwark and Lambeth.

When he isn’t working, Nick can be found playing golf (increasingly badly) and spending time re-stocking and emptying his wine cellar to indulge his passion for wine.

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Emma has been a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI) since 2008 and joined Carter Jonas in 2010 having previous experience in multidisciplinary private practice.

Emma provides advice to clients on all aspects of town and country planning including the development potential of land and property in urban and rural areas. Preparing and negotiating planning applications and appeals for residential, business and leisure schemes.

She also provides strategy advice to Estates in the form of Estate Appraisals in which she identifies sites and buildings with development potential and an appropriate strategy to realise this in the short, medium and long term.

This includes land and buildings in urban, rural and Green Belt areas.  Emma has also been involved in the preparation and submission of various representation to facilitate the promotion of land through the Local Development Framework process.

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Steven is Partner and Head of Planning Southern Region and is based in our Oxford office.

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Huw is a Partner in the Planning & Development team and is based in our Oxford office.

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Colin is a Partner and was appointed Head of Planning & Development Division in November 2020, he is based out of our Cambridge office.  He has over 25 years’ experience of planning consultancy and has a broad sphere of work.  He acts for a wide range of private, institutional and developer clients and has worked on significant planning applications and appeals.

He regularly instructs Counsel, and has appeared at a number of Local Plan examinations and in Section 78 and other appeals where he has often given evidence.  He carries out much land promotion work and has a strong track record of delivering planning consents taking projects through their entire process from site identification to construction on site.  

Away from work, Colin is Chairman of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry and of the Cambridge branch of networking group, Interact.  He is also Chairman of the Dining Rights Committee at the Hawks’ Club, a sporting club in the City for Cambridge University sportsmen. He is a regular, if poor golfer, a keen cyclist and a committed, but somewhat less dangerous skier than he once was.

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Nicky is a Partner in the Planning & Development team and is based in our Oxford office.

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Mark is a Chartered Town Planner with 30 years’ broad experience of the planning system in both Local Government and Consultancy. He has acted for local planning authorities, landowners, developers and house building companies in the promotion and control of development. He has a particular interest and experience in the strategic promotion of land for development, housing and commercial, through the development plan system; the preparation of evidence and appearance at Examination in Public and Planning Appeals; the preparation and submission of major planning applications, including EIA; S106 negotiations; project management; and as an Expert Witness in the High Court and at Tribunals. He is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and an Associate of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.

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Richard is a Partner within the Carter Jonas' Eastern Region Planning Team. His planning expertise covers residential, commercial and mixed-use projects, with involvement in the submission and delivery of major planning applications, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) preparation, site appraisals, planning appeals and site promotions through the Local Plan process.
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Justin is an Associate Partner for the Eastern Region.   He has approximately 19 years of planning experience and specialises in residential, commercial and mixed use planning applications, dealing with a wide range of planning-related work including site appraisals and feasibility studies; applications relating to commercial, education, residential and student schemes; planning and enforcement appeals; S106 negotiation and the discharge of conditions; development plan representations; and providing general planning advice. Justin advises clients from a diverse sector range including private residential and commercial developers (national, regional and local), education institutions, commercial organisations and private landowners. He has experience in both the public and private sector dealing with a range of development schemes.  He is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. 

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Paul is an Associate Partner and works as a Planner within the Eastern Region Planning and Development Team based in Cambridge.  As a Chartered Town Planner and a Member of the RTPI, Paul has over 13 years experience working in both the public and private sector.  Paul carries a diverse case load ranging from small scale private residential developments through to large scale mixed use schemes and the promotion of Strategic Urban Extensions.  With experience of residential, leisure and commercial developments, Paul has a proven track record in project managing consultant teams and securing complex planning approvals. Paul also has experience in promoting sites through the Local Plan process, contesting planning appeals and processing enforcement action cases. 

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Neal Allcock is a partner and joined Carter Jonas in January 2021 as head of the firm’s Midlands planning team, based in the Birmingham office. A specialist in large-scale projects and urban redevelopment and regeneration, Neal has delivered a number of strategic development projects for a variety of clients. With over 15 years of planning experience including at urban and rural local planning authorities, Neal has extensive and varied knowledge of projects across residential (including BTR and PBSA), infrastructure, retail and commercial/industrial sectors.

Neal advises clients on a diverse range of planning matters across the region including tall buildings, town centre regeneration, brownfield redevelopment and green belt proposals. He provides strategy on the planning approach for complex major development projects, preparation and submission of planning applications and representations to promote sites through the local plan process.

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