Weymouth's leaders are being urged to work together as a new grant to transform towns is unveiled.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP yesterday launched the Future High Streets Fund, a £675 million fund to transform local high streets and help leaders implement bold new visions to transform their town centres.

Towns across the country are being urged to bid for a share of the fund and chief operations officer of Weymouth BID, Claudia Moore says Weymouth deserves a cut.

"Weymouth is being viewed as somewhere that needs to be helped at the moment. It's been hard for businesses to adapt to changing shopping habits. The town needs more experiential and residential focuses but these things will take time and in this moment businesses are struggling," Miss Moore said.

She added the bid had already been discussed amongst the BID and local leaders and they were being urged to put their heads together to come up with a successful bid.

"Any bid we put in will be stronger if we work together. Much like with the Coastal Communities Fund, it needs to be a joint effort. We need to do this collaboratively," she said.

Miss Moore said the biggest hurdle for Weymouth to overcome was the "perception of general deprivation".

"We need to focus more on culture and heritage in the town. It's not something people associate with Weymouth even though we have a lot of history," she said.

She added a sculpture trail had been suggested for the town centre which would get people out and walking around the town.

"We need something that will have a legacy and aren't transient. The events and festivals are great for bringing people to the town but we need something lasting. Something for people to come and see that isn't the beach and is a talking point - like the Sydney Opera House - like it or not it's something to have an opinion on," Miss Moore said.

She added there was a lot of "empty space" in the town centre, especially around Debenhams and some small changes could see it transformed.

"It wouldn't take much, they just have to agree on what they want," she said.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “We all know high streets are changing, we can’t hide from this reality. But we’re determined to ensure they continue sit at the heart of our communities for generations to come.

“To do this we have to support investment in infrastructure, boosting local economies and ensuring people are able to get the most out of their local high streets. Empowering leaders on the ground is key too – they best understand the challenges facing their areas.

“Our Future High Streets Fund will drive forward this change, transforming our town centres into the thriving community hubs of the future.”