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Government announces cash for Town Deals and a nature programme for Cornwall

Words: Laura Edgar
Hartlepool marina / iStock-937852058

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that 30 towns in England will receive a share of £725 million to help to boost local economies and create jobs.

The money is also intended to help the towns to “build back better” from the pandemic.

Towns to benefit include Loughborough (£16.9 million), Hartlepool (£25 million) and King’s Lynn (£25 million).

The money could go towards transforming neglected areas or unused buildings into businesses or community spaces, or new homes.

Jenrick said: “We are levelling up towns and cities across the country by building stronger and more resilient local economies, boosting prosperity and opportunity in our communities, and helping them build back better from the pandemic.”

He said the money will “support locally led projects to transform disused buildings and public spaces, deliver new green transport and create new opportunities for people to develop new skills. This is a boost for communities and businesses across England”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also declared that there will be Towns Deals for Penzance, St Ives and Camborne to create a “long-term legacy” from the G7 summit, which will be held in Cornwall from 11 to 13 June. Members will discuss global issues and are expected to agree on action to tackle the climate crisis, protect nature and lead a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Town Deals announced for Penzance, St Ives and Camborne are worth more than £65 million. Projects include a new network of foot and cycle paths across Camborne, Penzance and from St Ives to St Erth. Theatres, sports clubs and historic buildings will be restored and expanded to make sure that the most can be made of the region's cultural heritage. Funding will also go to the business and commercial sectors.

The decision on these Towns Deals means that more than 80 have been agreed in total since Johnson originally revealed in July 2019 that the £3.6 billion Towns Fund would support an initial 101 deals across England. The deals are part of the government’s bid to level up the country.

Nature programme

The government also announced that in partnership with Natural England and Cornwall Wildlife Trusts it is launching a “major land restoration and regeneration programme across 21,000 hectares of land”. The nature recovery project is set to involve planting trees, restoring peat, making improvements to water quality, recreating scarce habitats and reintroducing lost and declining species such as dormice and the marsh fritillary butterfly.

The government is aiming to safeguard the “beauty and biodiversity” of Cornwall for future generations.

Johnson said: “As the eyes of the world look to Cornwall this week, not only will they see an area of outstanding beauty, they will witness a region that is innovative, exciting and looking firmly towards a bright future.

“The exciting projects we have announced are a fitting legacy for a region playing host to some of the most important diplomatic talks in a generation. As the world builds back better from coronavirus, Cornwall will lead the way.”

Image credits | iStock