THE next step in High Wycombe’s bid to secure a share of £1 billion in regeneration funding is set to be taken.

In August last year, the town was shortlisted for a share of the government’s ‘Future High Streets Fund’, which aims to improve transport and access into town centres, convert empty shops into new homes and offices, and invest in infrastructure.

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At a Buckinghamshire Council meeting on Wednesday, July 15, councillor Sebert Graham asked councillor Steve Bowles, the authority’s town centre regeneration boss, for an update on what the new council's plans are for the regeneration of the “neglected” High Wycombe High Street and the market “so that they are fit for purpose?”

Councillor Bowles replied: “At the request of High Wycombe town centre ward members a meeting took place between councillors and officers to discuss the market at the end of October last year.

“Following this a specialist firm (Quarterbridge) was commissioned and undertook a review of the market, including a survey of members of the public, in order to produce a series of recommendations for its improvement and revitalisation.

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“As part of this work, two engagement sessions for councillors were held at the start of March at High Wycombe Council offices.

“A consultation with market traders has not been possible due to Covid 19 so the finalisation of the review and resulting report has been delayed.

“Elements of the review are commercially sensitive but a summary of its conclusions will be made available to councillors once it is complete.

“In parallel with the work on the market, the Council is making a bid to central government for the Future High Streets Fund for High Wycombe (the only town in Buckinghamshire to get through to the application stage).

“The bid includes projects relating to the High Street and will be submitted at the end of July.

“Announcement of successful bids is expected in the Autumn.

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“The council continues to work closely with High Wycombe BIDCo and support the development of activations and animations to bring footfall and life back to this part of the town centre.”