Boris Johnson: Supporting the heart of our local communities

The Prime Minister today announced an ambitious package, backed by hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, to support towns and communities across Britain.

Building on the Government’s Towns Fund, the measures are designed to help places which have not always benefited from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

The package includes measures to:

  • Keep the high street open for business. We will cut business rates for shops, cinemas and pubs. The average corner shop will get a £1,400 cut in their business rates from the extension in the retail discount. Up to half a million businesses will benefit, with the discount extended to all cinemas and music venues.
  • Save pubs and post offices. We will back community groups who want to buy their local pubs and post offices with a £150m fund and a 9 month ban on sale to other bidders.
  • Re-connect towns and villages to the rail network, with a new £500m fund to restore lines and stations removed by the 1960s Beeching Report.
  • Invest in cycling and walking. We will make it easier for people to cycle and walk around their local areas, improving air quality and public health.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, said:

“For too long, too many towns and villages across Britain have been overlooked and left behind. When the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, many communities felt their voices had been heard for the first time in decades and their lives would improve. 

“We will invest in these communities and help people put the heart back into the places they call home. We need to get Brexit done so that we can unleash the potential of all our towns, cities and villages. We will be able to save our high streets, keep pubs and post offices open and re-connect places to the rail network half a century after they were cut off.

“But that can only happen if we end the dither, delay and paralysis in Westminster. We need to get Brexit done so the country can move on. We need a Conservative majority government which will deliver for communities across Britain – not a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance which would expend all its energy on two more chaotic referendums.”