As high streets across the nation reopen from the lockdown restrictions, four areas across the North East are set to receive a funding boost through the Future High Streets Fund.
Loftus, Middlesbrough, South Shields and Stockton-on-Tees are the most recent additions to the list of 72 areas across the UK to be granted Future High Streets funding.
Loftus - £5,833,526
Middlesbrough town centre - £14,170,352
Stockton-on-Tees - £16,543,812
South Shields - £5,959,187
From improving transport and access into town centres to converting retail units into new homes, these plans hope to deliver long-term impacts that drive growth, raise living standards and ultimately help level up the regions.
The Government has highlighted "the forward-thinking and innovative proposals" the council's have developed, including:
Stockton-on-Tees will see the development of a land bridge over Riverside Road to provide a transition between the High Street and River Tees, as well as a new urban park designed to increase cultural and community space and drive new and additional footfall to the town centre.
Loftus will receive the money to develop a new skills and workspace hub, deliver a new library and museum, enhance green space and connectivity, and unlock a key residential site.
Loftus, South Shields, Stockton and Middlesbrough now join three other North East high streets that had £55.98m funding confirmed between them on Boxing Day 2020:
Blyth town centre - £11,121,059
Bishop Auckland - £19,856,853
Sunderland city centre - £25,000,000