Future High Streets Fund

The Assignment

Preparing a Bid to MHCLG for funding for capital projects that would bring transformative change to support the regeneration of Brentwood Town Centre.

Brentwood Borough Council required support to gather information, data and evidence, and in the preparation of a submission for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG): Future High Streets Fund. Due to changing consumer patterns and online shopping Brentwood Town Centre faces significant challenges, but the arrival of Crossrail brings an exciting opportunity for growth.  The Council’s aspiration was to secure access to the Fund, to enable more strategic and effective regeneration options for the Town Centre than would otherwise be achievable.

The Role

We were brought in by the Council to prepare the submission of the bid to MHCLG and to support the Council in gathering information, data and evidence to support the submission. In preparing the bid we were required to undertake a gap analysis to highlight any missing evidence or data that could support the application, and to engage with a range of council officers from relevant departments to gather information.

We helped support the Council in setting out its vision and ambition for change as the basis of the application, whilst also working closed with the Council to demonstrate engagement with and support from local stakeholders for the plan to regenerate the Town Centre, for which the Fund would help secure. We also examined options for co-funding arrangements and details of partnership working with the private sector that was required to support the bid.

As part of this role we:

  • Undertook research and provided a summary of the main objectives, criteria and evidence required to prepare an application in line with the funding prospectus.
  • Undertook gap analysis to highlight any gaps in data or information in order to complete the application and meet the evaluation criteria.
  • Worked with the Council to determine how the level of ambition for the bid sits within the wider existing strategic plans.
  • Gathered and collated information, data and plans needed for a draft application with the necessary annexes of evidence.
  • Worked with the Council to set out the rationale for selecting the geographical area for the fund application, together with a description of the issues and structural challenges facing the high street or town centre area to be covered by the bid.
  • Determined the co-funding arrangement and details of partnership working with the private sector that will relate to the bid.
  • Prepared the final application for submission by the FHSF application deadline.

Key Outcomes

Our work enabled the Council to submit a well-scoped and evidenced bid for funding that was supported by a range of local stakeholders and aligned with wider existing strategic plans.  We supported the Council in gathering data, information and evidence to provide a rationale for the vision and an ambition for change that means they are well placed to be successful in other funding bids.