SMALL but crucial steps are being made to regenerate a Bournemouth high street. 

This is how the regeneration programme of Boscombe’s high street is being hailed today as several projects are ticked off the list. 

Having been given £ 21.7m of funds from central government, shopkeepers and residents are now starting to see a change. 

Eight grants have been handed to traders and some of them have seen the installation of new tables and chairs, including outside Incups cafe and a shop awning at Poppins. 

Smaller-scale improvements to shopfronts and internal redecorations are also underway, to improve trading conditions  – with 10 planning applications submitted by shop owners last month. 

Bournemouth Towns Fund recently joined forces with the Bournemouth Coastal BID and Countrywide Coatings to breathe new life into some of its most tired-looking buildings. 

The facades of the former art-deco Bingo Hall, now Superdrug and Pound Stretcher, have been given a facelift with a fresh lick of paint. 

Dirty and suffering from years of neglect, they’ve been stripped back, cleaned and covered with a long-life weatherproof coating to preserve their futures.

Martha Covell, programme manager of the Towns Fund, hailed the progress being made, saying it has been a “long time in the making”. 

She said: “It's brilliant to be part of the exciting plans to regenerate Boscombe, which have been a long time in the making.  

“While the improvements made over the last six months or so are small, we often find these make a real difference to trading in the area, enhancing people's perception of Boscombe, which is a great place to shop and go out.”   

Peter Ruscoe, the Coastal BID manager, said: “Other renovation grants are planned for heritage buildings in the area too, aimed at not only enhancing the appearance of the historic town centre, but encouraging the re-use of derelict premises and enticing more people to the area. 

“This year, there have already been two unique and fun events hosted on the high street as part of the Sea of Creativity Events programme. 

“These include cabaret and circus skills workshops, as well as a musical on the new 99 Bus route, with an arts exhibition using empty shopfronts taking place later this month.