Future High Streets Fund

The council is pushing ahead with a package of projects that will see the regeneration of Crewe taking another major leap forward.

We submitted a bid to the government’s Future High Streets Fund in summer 2020 and received a successful award in June 2021. With the formal grant offer letter from government for £14.1m now received, work on a variety of transformative projects is now progressing.

It is further positive news for Crewe, which recently secured a ‘Town Deal’ and a separate allocation of funding from government of up to £22.9m. This funding is allocated to deliver an additional set of projects to support the ongoing regeneration of the town.

The council’s director of growth and enterprise, Peter Skates, said: “Our successful bid to the Future High Streets Fund shows there is confidence in our vision for the town and surrounding area and means that we can begin to deliver on our plans – ensuring that residents and businesses continue to see real progress and that Crewe is a place where people want to live, work, socialise and do business.”

The Future High Streets Fund projects

The projects  will now be subject to further discussions and, in some cases, planning permission, are all expected to be delivered by the end of 2024; more details will be shared as they progress.

The projects include plans to create a sustainable residential area in the heart of the town centre to provide more than 90 affordable and quality homes for young people, families, and the elderly. This would give residents easy access to services, reducing their carbon footprint.

Nearby, there are plans to develop new high-quality public space for cultural and civic activities, and for a technology and digital innovation campus, which would help to attract more economic activity back into the town centre.

Sustainable energy network

There are also plans for a sustainable energy network  powered by an air source heat pump at a new energy centre attached to the Lifestyle Centre.

Initially covering buildings in the civic and cultural quarter, this could expand to reduce the environmental impact of development across the town centre.

Accessible town centre

Four of the other projects focus on making the town centre more accessible and encouraging people to stay for longer.

  • a new off-road pedestrian link/cycle path would link Oak Street and Forge Street, via High Street. While improving access into the town centre and to key facilities, including the Lifestyle Centre, it would also create a more attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists and encourage active travel.
  • the long-planned  Flag Lane link will improve access for vehicles travelling between the east and west of the town centre, connecting Dunwoody Way to Delamere Street, via Flag Lane.

Meanwhile, some of the funding is earmarked for the installation of:

  • state-of-the-art junction controls in the Wistaston Road, Edleston Road and Nantwich Road areas. This project, which supports the council’s carbon agenda and sustainable and active travel programmes, also includes improvements to the junction of Nantwich Road and South Street.
  • funding has been earmarked to begin scheme development options to address congestion and improve cycling facilities between Memorial Square and Grand Junction Retail Park.

Future High Streets Fund timeline so far:

  • December 2018 – the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government invites local authorities to bid for the FHSF.
  • March 2019 – deadline for submissions of expression of interest
  • July 2019 – we are informed that Crewe is successful in our FHSF bid for the town
  • April 2020 – final business case presented to MHLG detailing plans to develop Crewe
  • December 2020 – we receive an ‘in principle’ offer of £14.1m from government
  • June 2021 – Grant offer letter issued by government for £14.1m