A bid for a major cash injection to help regenerate King’s Lynn town centre has moved a step closer.

The town has been selected to go through to the second phase of the government’s Future High Streets Fund and will now receive £150,000 to create a supporting business case.

The £675m fund is being allocated to help local leaders reinvent and reinvigorate town centres.

West Norfolk Council has submitted the bid and the authorities successful in securing money are expected to be announced next spring.

Graham Middleton, the council’s portfolio holder for business development, said getting through to the next round was “fantastic news”.

“To really make a difference we need a cash injection to create a step-change that will transform our town centre,” he said. 

Council leader Brian Long said competition for the funding would be “tough” but he said it was “vital” to secure the money to make the town a place “people want to come into, to use, to experience”  and “build on its strengths”.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has added his congratulations and said it had been a “great achievement” to reach the second phase.

In a letter to Sir Henry, Minster for Local Growth Jake Berry, explained the fund had been  heavily oversubscribed with more than 300 bids.

Mr Berry said: “It is a great achievement for the authority to have made it into the business case development phase and demonstrates that its expression of interest document was one of the very best that my department received.”

Sir Henry said: “High streets across the country are facing unprecedented challenges from the growth of out-of-town stores and the huge increase in online retailing. This is why the high street has to change and become more focused on niche retailers. 

“Indeed, what we all want to see is for our local high street in King’s Lynn to become a destination in its own right, this does need a lot of imagination and some serious redesign.”