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Future High Street Fund

About the Future High Street Fund

The Future High Street Fund (FHSF) is a government programme supporting 72 areas in England to enhance their local economy and deliver ambitious high street regeneration plans. The programme was launched in December 2018, with 15 councils getting funding in the first phase. Middlesbrough Council was awarded £14.1m in the second phase, which was announced in March 2021.

We see a bright future for our high street. So our FHSF programme focusses on rebalancing the economic mix and diversifying floor space for residential, commercial, and leisure uses. This will create a more balanced and attractive offer to support and enhance our town centre.

The vision is based on building a new urban community in the heart of the town, by bringing more people to live and work in central Middlesbrough. Our £14.1m funding will be used for the following schemes:

  • development of residential property
  • adaptations to transport services and improving safety and security of town centre areas
  • cultural animation and experiences
  • grant funding for businesses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
  • transformation of Captain Cook Square for leisure use

Funding is geographically restricted (in line with approved FHSF programme guidance) to Middlesbrough town centre.

More information is available on the Future High Streets Fund page on GOV.UK.

Future High Street grant

The Future High Street (FHS) grant scheme supports businesses based in Middlesbrough town centre with their recovery plans following the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and a return to (as normal) trading conditions. The grant aims to stimulate business growth and support Middlesbrough's town centre economy.

Eligible sectors include:

  • hospitality
  • leisure
  • personal care
  • non-essential retail
  • commercial landlords

Funding is geographically restricted to Middlesbrough town centre. So to be eligible for grant assistance, your business must be located within the Future High Street Fund boundary. View the map of the Future High Street Fund boundary (the eligible area is highlighted red on the map). If you're struggling to use the map, email us with your business name, business sector, and postcode, and we'll check whether or not you're eligible.

Business owners must be responsible for their commercial rates or significant rental value, and provide evidence of either rateable value or rental agreement. Commercial property owners with vacant properties who can demonstrate ownership of the property, and that a grant will improve the viability of the unit to support Middlesbrough’s town centre economy, will be considered.

A one-off grant of £10,000 is available to cover improvements like:

  • external property improvements
  • redesign of internal/external space to accommodate COVID-19 changes (evidence of relevant planning permission / licences must be given)
  • eCommerce upgrades
  • marketing materials/signage
  • updated systems, for example point of sale or booking systems
  • new equipment/furniture


To apply, you'll need to complete the FHS grant application and also submit the following:

  • identification of applicant
  • lease/rent agreement
  • latest audited accounts
  • evidence of most recent business bank account/business activity
  • copy of COVID-19 recovery plan or business marketing plan

Applications for the Future High Street grant are suspended due to the fund being oversubscribed

Grants will be awarded subject to funding being available. The scheme will close on 31 March 2022, or when all funds have been given out, whichever is soonest.

Download the Future High Street Grant recovery plan template.

For more information, please contact us at