The High Street Innovation Fund was part of the government’s response to Mary Portas’ review of the High Street.

The £10 million government fund was set up a year ago to help bring empty shops back into use. However only 7% of the fund has currently been used.

Awarded to 100 councils with the worst affected high streets in England, the money has been used by some councils to help bring back some shops into use. Others have used to money to fund Christmas lighting or decorations.

While the government have said they would rather the money was used wisely than spent all at once, critics have observed that the money that has been used has been spent on arguably unoriginal ideas.

Calls are now being made for government ministers to step in and encourage the correct spending of the funds to give lagging high streets a new lease of life.

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