£25m bid to improve safety and shopping in Armley town centre

Councillors have said they want to get people shopping and feeling safe in Armley
Councillors have said they want to get people shopping and feeling safe in Armley
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Armley Town Street could be transformed into a safe and popular place to shop and work as part of a new government scheme.

The government has earmarked £675m for The Future High Streets fund to help high streets which are 'facing significant challenges'.

Armley Town Street could be set for up to 25m of improvement works

Armley Town Street could be set for up to 25m of improvement works

Local authorities can bid for up to £25m in funding and a report, set to go before Leeds City Council’s executive board next week, outlines the Leeds City Council’s bid for a slice of the £675m fund.

The money would help fund investment in infrastructure, such as public and other transport access, as well as work to help support new housing and workspaces in “under-used retail units”.

Armley councillor James McKenna (Lab) said: “We are delighted that we have been chosen. We are not sure exactly of the details, but the government wants to make district centres more viable.

“It would enable us to improve things, and we have plenty ideas, but we are also anxious to hear local people’s opinions.”

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He said he felt it was unlikely that Leeds could bid for the maximum £25m, but insisted that significant improvements could still be made.

He added: “This is one of the few old-fashioned district centres. Leeds evolved from the coming together of small towns like Armley.

“We are anxious to get people shopping and feeling safe when they visit. We want to work closely with local people and we want to shape the future of our community.”

The Leeds City Council report adds: “The place-making potential provided by the fund is clear and presents an opportunity to achieve transformational change within the local centres selected, helping to elevate them into the resilient and vibrant places that contribute positively to the social and economic well-being of local communities."

The first bid is due to be submitted by the council to the Government by March 22. More detailed proposals – including the amounts of money requested – are set to be submitted in the summer, before final business cases are submitted by Spring 2020.