READING town’s centre will not receive new government funding for high streets, because the council did not bid for it. 

The £1 billion of new government funding was announced last week and is for high streets across the country. 

The money will be spent on improving transport into town centres, converting empty shops into new homes and workplaces, and investing in infrastructure. 

The government said last Thursday that 50 towns were added to the shortlist to benefit from the Future High Streets Fund; but Reading was not on the list. 

This is because Reading Borough Council did not apply to receive any of the funding. 

A council spokesman said: “Reading didn’t make a formal bid in this instance as the focus for the funds was for ‘failing high streets’ and non ‘city centre’ high streets. 

“We will, however, consider bidding for any appropriate future funding opportunities.”

Several empty shops can be seen on Broad Street, including the recently shut-down Burtons and Dorothy Perkins.