A High Street Revolution

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The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has today (30 June 2023) announced the latest allocations from the second round of the £150 million Community Ownership Fund.

The funding will help community groups take ownership of local institutions that have fallen into disrepair or are under threat of closure and give them a new lease of life. This will ensure they continue to provide vital services, create opportunities and boost local economies, while restoring optimism, hope and pride in UK communities.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said:

‘This cash will help to revive the vital community spaces which give people a sense of belonging and pride in their communities and allow them to thrive.

We want people across the country to have great opportunities no matter where they live. Ensuring that they can continue to benefit from treasured local institutions is an important part of this.’

One of the successful bidders is Back on the map for the High Street Revolution work. The charity has worked with local traders and residents over the last year to improve the offer on their community highstreet, Villette Road, investing their own capital funds into the purchase of a derelict block of retail units on the main gateway to the street. Hendon High Street in Sunderland will receive money to create opportunities for residents to explore their own enterprise ideas and create work for themselves by transforming the block and bringing it back into use as quality retail space.

‘These funds will help save a community assets that local residents and traders have told us are preventing our community high street from thriving. The building was at risk of loss and together we have empowered our community to come together to shape the things that matter most to them. Villette Road is the heart of Hendon, an area left behind after the decline of heavy industry, but our people are passionate about where they live and want it to be once again a place of opportunity to live, work and thrive. This project will bring social and economic change to Hendon.’ Jo Cooper, CEO, Back on the Map

‘We are beyond delighted to receive the support of the Community Ownership Fund to support our work to save logical community assets. Back on the Map is committed to supporting, empowering, and levelling up our community.’ Julie Gray, Back on the Map Chairperson

Any businesses interested in trading on Villette Road or about the space can contact Back on the Map on 0191 514 7844.