BARROW’S MP has welcomed new government funding made available for high streets and small businesses in Furness.

The news that more than £150,000 of government funds to regenerate the nation’s high streets that has been allocated for south Cumbria was gladly lauded by the MP for Barrow and Furness this weekend.

Simon Clarke, High Streets Minister at the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government, yesterday announced £50m of funding for high streets and small enterprises in England to ‘[help get them] back up and running safely and profitably’ as coronavirus restrictions begin to lift.

The new money is intended to support practical measures so businesses can re-open quickly when they are allowed to, enabling staff to get back to work and customers to return to shops.

Now, £58,858 of new money has been made available for Barrow.

Meanwhile, £92,936 of the new funding has been earmarked for the South Lakes.

The new £50m funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It is distinct from the Future High Streets and Towns Fund and comes in addition to a £3.2bn package for councils announced as a response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Commenting on the news yesterday, Mr Fell reiterated the need to support high streets ahead of a likely economic downturn. He said: “I’m delighted that we’re seeing significant investment into Barrow, Ulverston and Dalton to get people out and shopping again once it is safe to do so.

“Many of our local businesses have stepped up for the over the last few months and we need to back them as we head out of lockdown to ensure that they not only survive, but thrive.

“Shopping locally is really important. And this money is an investment to help us do just that.”

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke said: “As we begin to slowly return to normality, the re-opening our high streets will be key to kick-starting our economic recovery.

“Levelling up the regions and supporting our high streets has always been central to the mission of this government.

“Many businesses have already introduced creative ways of trading such as contactless collection or taking orders by instant messaging and shows that they are ready for the challenges ahead.

“That’s why we are providing an extra £50m for councils to support a range of safety measures that will help get these businesses back on track and ensure that people can enjoy their time visiting their local high street safely again.”