Watford will spend over £80,000 to renovate the High Street as lockdown restrictions ease – here is where the money will go.

The £56million Welcome Back Fund issued by the government to councils nationwide intends to help boost local economies and businesses and give people reassurance to shop and socialise safely.

The government suggested funding can go towards more outdoor seating, markets, green spaces, social distancing signs and more.

Watford Borough Council will receive £85,636 of the fund, and now Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor has shared some insight on what that money will be spent on.

Specifically, the mayor says that it will fund outdoor entertainment, outdoor table tennis tables and more planters.

Talking about the return to the High Street, he said: “We know people are really looking forward to coming back to Watford and to enjoy the experience of shopping, eating out or just meeting up with friends and family, which we have all missed so much.

“Our businesses are excited about reopening and we are working with them so everything is in place for 12 April onwards, including making sure the High Street feels safe and welcoming.

“This funding will support a range of measures we already have planned including a fantastic summer of entertainment, free outdoor table tennis tables, even more planters to make the High Street colourful and lively as well as Covid-19 safety measures so people can feel confident about their visit. Our message for this summer is ‘Welcome back Watford’.”

Elsewhere, Three Rivers has been granted £82,174, Hertsmere with £92,495 and Dacorum receiving £137,473.

Over the summer, pubs and restaurants will also be granted with more flexibility to set up marquees and outdoor spaces.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “As we move to the next stage on the roadmap out of lockdown we are all looking forward to being reunited with friends and family outdoors and making a safe and happy return to our favourite shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

“Our Welcome Back Fund gives every city, town and high street support to prepare for a great summer. This funding will help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners and tourists back safely.

“As soon as the roadmap allows, we need to get behind our local businesses and enjoy all that this country has to offer and that we’ve been missing so much.

“I’m allowing every pub in the country to erect a marquee in their garden for the whole summer as a one-off power to support our locals.”