Bakery giant Greggs is backing a scheme to help regenerate high streets across the UK.

The bakers have partnered with the Healthy High Streets Project, which will be expanding into 34 towns across the UK.

The scheme aims to help high streets increase footfall, reduce vacant properties and create new jobs in struggling towns, and was set up by the Business in the Community (BITC) charity.

It said that so far, £9m of support had been provided to high streets from founding members of the scheme - Boots, The Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander.

The company said: “Greggs has a strong commitment to all aspects of social responsibility and Richard Hutton (finance director of the bakery) champions ‘Community’ on the company’s CSR steering committee. He led the expansion of the award-winning Greggs Breakfast Club scheme and is a firm believer in the mutual benefit of engaging businesses with the communities in which they operate.”

Peter Donohue, Healthy High Streets Project lead, commented: “One of the most powerful ways for business to make an impact in communities is by creating high streets that are vibrant places to live, work and do business. It has been heartening to see first-hand the practical difference that collaborative, business-led action can make on UK high streets in just one year. While there is much to be proud of about our Healthy High Streets programme, we also know that there is more work to be done. We look forward to working with new and existing towns to create lasting change”