AN application for up to £2.4m to regenerate Hexham’s high street has been submitted.

Northumberland County Council has drawn up an application for the funding from the national High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, which is part of the £675m Future High Streets Fund, administered by Historic England.

It is hoped the scheme, which aims to deliver physical improvements, community engagement and cultural activities, will deliver a £2.4m programme of improvements to boost Hexham town centre.

The zone highlighted for improvement will focus on the Priestpopple, Cattle Market and Battle Hill area, where there is a concentration of vacant properties, compounded by the upcoming closure of Beales.

It also includes Fore Street, Market Place, St Mary’s Chare, Meal Market, St Mary’s Wynd, Market Street and Beaumont Street.

The funding could be used to regenerate disused or underused buildings, do work to make the town centre more attractive and support activities which engage the community and visitors.

Coun. Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism, and county councillor for Hexham East, said: “This is a great opportunity to work collaboratively to enhance our wonderful town.”

The application has been developed in partnership with Hexham Town Council and Hexham Community Partnership through the Hexham Hub Town Forum.

A decision on Hexham’s expression of interest submission is expected in September. If successful, there will be a programme design phase involving engagement with the local community and businesses. If the application is successful, it could see a full scheme introduced from April, 2020 for four years.