The deadline was three months after the call for proposals, which Grimsey says left councils without the time to put together quality schemes. He said that the short turnaround meant that ‘many of these applications are cosmetic approaches rather than structural frameworks for the future’.
Grimsey continued: ‘This £675m fund is needed – but I am concerned that councils are not yet ready to put in applications for meaningful projects that represent a 20-year vision for town centres in line with my recommendations. They are going to put forward schemes that they already have on the shelf rather than plans we need for repopulated and re-fashioned town centres fit for the challenges of 21st century life.’
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