The two-year project will help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and improve the local environment in town centres by working towards engaging business in developing Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).
Existing BIDs have already succeeded in creating safer cleaner greener town centre environments, for example by; removing gum from pavements; setting up a graffiti removal hotlines; providing new street furniture; appointing a crime reduction manager; and promoting the town as a visitor destination.
Local business partnerships in the 20 selected areas will receive free management, technical, and communications support from town centre experts, to establish sustainable partnerships between businesses, the public sector and the local community. Lessons learnt will be shared across all town centres to promote best practice.
Baroness Andrews said:
"We have already made real progress in making our town centres cleaner, safer, and greener with BIDs making a real difference in engaging businesses. We now need to build on the urban renaissance taking shape. That's why I am delighted to announce the twenty areas involved in this scheme.
"By enabling business people to work together in effective partnership with the local community, respect and ownership will grow and thrive. This is the way to ensure people are proud of where they live and work, and that makes for a sustainable community."