Ryedale’s five towns could benefit from new Government funding, councillors were told.
The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for York and North Yorkshire is taking the lead locally on the Government’s new Future High Streets initiative, said Howard Wallis, senior economic and infrastructure officer for Ryedale Council.
He told Helmsley Town Council: “In recent years, Government funding and initiatives have been largely focused on cities and their future role given the evolving nature of retail and high streets.
“Now, work being carried out by the LEP recognises that market towns are a vital part of the rural economy.”
Two key aspects, said Mr Wallis, were gathering data and improving understanding of how towns across the LEP area function.
He said: “The aim is to improve market towns’ productivity and ensure they are appealing and relevant places to live and work with attractive and appealing town centres.
“I think this is a really positive development with the LEP taking a lead on a strong case for the role of the towns.
“I would envisage that this will potentially lead to funding streams which may be targeted at the towns to help them adapt to the future.”