Weymouth has missed out on a vital slice of regeneration funding to revamp and improve its high street.

The town hasn’t been included on a list of areas which are set to benefit from the £1 billion Future High Streets Fund.

There were hopes that the town might make the cut after High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP visited Weymouth back in December to hear about the areas's need for support, given its poor economic state.

The funding could have been used to improve transport and access into town centres, converting empty retail units into new homes and workplaces and to invest in vital infrastructure.

The bid was made by Dorset Council with support from Weymouth BID.

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for economic growth and skills, said: “It is with great disappointment that we hear that we have been unsuccessful in our Future High Streets Fund application for Weymouth.

"Given the most recent statements from Government around social mobility where Weymouth and Portland came 533rd out of 533 we would have thought that there was no better place for this funding.

"Despite this set back, Dorset Council is committed to working with the local community to ensure that improvements are made.”

Last month, Dorset Councillors Pete Barrow and Paul Kimber pushed through a motion calling for immediate action to tackle the problem of social mobility in the borough.

The Echo has also reported about poverty wages in the area, with 6,500 jobs in Weymouth and Portland recorded as paying less than the £9 an hour Living Wage.

If Weymouth had been successful in its bid for high street funding, then it would have progressed to the second phases and received up to £150,000 to support the development of detailed project proposals that can be submitted for capital funding.

Claudia Moore, Chief Operations Officer of Weymouth BID, said: "Of course, it is disappointing that we were not successful with this funding bid and I look forward to receiving some feedback on our application to ensure we don’t miss out next time.

"However, we are currently collaborating on two other bids for Weymouth and are hopeful that we will be successful with these."

The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of the Government’s plan to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives economic growth and sustainably improves living standards.

Towns to benefit in the funding round include coastal areas such as Barnstaple, Blackpool, Barrow, Paignton, and Scarborough.

Despite losing its bid for high street funding, Weymouth was successful earlier in the year in attracting £3.8m from the Coastal Communities funding.

This is being used for the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project to improve the harbour.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax said: "Of course it's always disappointing when we don't get the investment we have asked for.

"Although we have been successful in other bids in the past and we won't win the funding every time round.

"But this won't stop us from applying for more funding and I'm sure we will be successful in the future."