Historic disused pubs to be revived in £62m fund

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Cash injection: several schemes will help restore pubs for economic use (image: Elliott Brown, Geograph)
Cash injection: several schemes will help restore pubs for economic use (image: Elliott Brown, Geograph)

Related tags High street

The Government has announced £62m of funding that will revive disused pubs, as part of its programme to protect high streets.

Several schemes will revive neglected buildings and bring them back into use – but some deserted pubs may be turned into offices or housing.

Funding includes £44m for Historic England to develop high streets’ heritage action zones.

Local authorities can apply to become an action zone and receive advice and investment in order to bring historic buildings – including pubs, theatres and libraries – back into use.

Disused pubs will also be revived by social enterprise organisations through the Architectural Heritage Fund, which will receive £15m.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund will launch a £3m cultural outreach project to engage communities in the history of their high streets.

Suited to modern life

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said that promoting historic high streets makes communities “more attractive places to live, work and visit”.

He said: “This £62m investment will breathe new life into high streets right across the country, benefiting local people and businesses, as well as providing assistance to much-loved historic buildings.

“It is right that we do all we can to not only protect our heritage, but make it work for modern life so it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.”

It follows news of the Government’s plans to inject a total £675m into high streets across the country​, with local authorities able to apply for the Future of High Street Fund.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP added that the investments would help high street businesses tackle changing consumer behaviours.

He said: “We’re absolutely committed to seeing our high streets thrive now and in the future.

“That’s why we put a plan to secure the future of the high street, and are taking action to ensure they can adapt to changing consumer demand and the rise of online shopping.

“This welcome announcement will help the high street to capitalise on local heritage by restoring treasured historic buildings for economic use. This is a proven way to drive footfall, increase further investment and generate even greater civic pride in our high streets.”

CAMRA delighted

Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s chief executive said it was important pubs were kept as pubs when considered by the schemes. 

He said: “We are delighted to see greater Government support allocated to our high streets. Pubs play a vital role in boosting trade and keeping high streets thriving, and we would like to see them benefit from this funding as well.

"Most importantly, we would like to see measures to ensure the funding is used to bring pubs back to life – rather than converted to another use.

“Pubs play an incredibly important role in our nation’s heritage and make up the very fabric of our nation’s history. Their ongoing preservation and protection is key to any initiative to support historic high streets.”

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