We are providing a range of support and investment to help improve and regenerate our high streets.

They are important community spaces where local people go to shop, socialise, work, access services or simply take a moment to pause and watch the world go by.

Since the Covid pandemic, working from home and more flexible working has remained in place for many, meaning people now prefer and choose to shop locally.

However our high streets continue to face significant challenges as a result of the growth of online shopping, out of town leisure and retail, recruitment pressures and rising costs.

Our high streets

South Gloucestershire has 8 high streets each with its own unique identity:

  • Chipping Sodbury
  • Downend
  • Filton
  • Hanham
  • Thornbury
  • Kingswood
  • Staple Hill
  • Yate Station Road

What we have done

During 2020 and 2021 we asked people to have their say on the future of their local high streets.

This feedback, as well as ongoing discussions with businesses and other stakeholders, helped identify your priorities and how we can best support the high streets.

In response we have:

  • distributed £400,000 of funding to help with the reopening the high streets to community groups and businesses
  • supported High Street Partnership Groups, Chambers of Commerce and other local business groups to recover and re-open post-Covid
  • set up a new skills hub
  • helped businesses with events and projects designed to attract more visitors
  • improved and refurbished public areas with new planters, seats, signage and public toilet facilities
  • installed high street defibrillators

What we are doing

We are helping local retailers to pivot their businesses to respond to new opportunities.

For example, different people are now attracted to their local high street including those who once travelled elsewhere to work but are now working from home.

We continue to work closely with businesses, residents, town and parish councils, community groups and equalities groups across our 8 high streets to understand what improvements are needed in each location and what events and activities people want to see there.

So far we have created plans for:

Use the links on this page to read more about the plans.

We are also looking for innovative ways to bring empty high street properties back into use.

Business support

Our economic development team can provide tailored business support and advice for local businesses, connecting you to the right people and organisations. Details can be found on our business support pages.

Empty units grant 2024

Businesses can apply for up to £25,000 to help bring an empty high street unit back into use.

The money for this scheme comes from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund via WECA.

By supporting businesses to start up or grow on the high street this scheme helps create and support new local jobs.

Find further details and how to apply

To keep informed about the latest grants available to businesses in South Gloucestershire and other programmes of support we provide, sign up for our business support newsletter.

We recognise some businesses are currently having a difficult time and facing financial difficulties. We may be help if you are having difficulty paying your business rates.

If you are a new high street business we encourage you to make contact with your local Chamber of Commerce. They can provide practical support and help you to connect with other local businesses to build relationships, share best practice and foster new opportunities.

If your local chamber is not listed below, contact our economic development team for advice.

Chipping Sodbury Chamber of Commerce (mysodbury.co.uk listing)
Thornbury Chamber of Commerce

Contact our economic development team at highstreets@southglos.gov.uk

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