Dunstable has one of 69 high streets in England set to be revitalised by a share of a £95m cash injection.
The town is part of “the biggest single investment by government in the UK’s built heritage”, as money from Westminster aims to transform disused historic buildings into shops, houses and community centres.
Funding will also help traditional businesses adapt to better compete with online outlets.
Culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “Our nation’s heritage is one of our great calling cards to the world.
“It is right that we ensure these buildings are preserved for future generations, but it is important that we make them work for the modern world.”
The East of England will receive £7m, split between Dunstable, Bedford, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, North Walsham, and Swaffham.
Town clerk and chief executive of Dunstable Town Council, David Ashlee, said: “The council and all our partners will be delighted to learn of the fantastic news that Dunstable Town Council has been successful in securing an ‘in principle’ offer from Historic England for a grant of £1.3m from the High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.
“The grant will help the council to preserve and enhance the nationally important grade 2 listed Priory House in the centre of Dunstable, and to improve Dunstable’s conservation area, in particular the historically important Middle Row.”
For the 69 high streets, £92m will be provided by the government and overseen by Historic England to create the High Street Heritage Action Zones, while £3m will be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support cultural programmes.