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Jenrick announces seven deals for English towns

Words: Laura Edgar
Blackpool Illuminations / Shutterstock_566250319

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has allocated a share of up to £178.7 million in funding as part of Town Deals for each.

The towns that have secured a deal are Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Darlington, Peterborough, Norwich, Torquay and Warrington. They are the first of 101 places to be offered a Town Deal.

Final funding allocations have yet to be confirmed, but it will come from the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund, which seeks to create jobs and drive growth in towns across England.

The fund is part of the government’s plans to level up the country so that businesses and communities can “thrive”.

These seven deals include:

  • £39.5 million to be used to update the Blackpool Illuminations, which used to attract four million visitors and bring in £284 million a year, and to support the development of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.
  • £21.9 million to modernise Torquay town centre and improve transport links with a focus on walking and cycling routes.
  • £22.9 million for the groundwork to be laid in Peterborough for low-carbon living. Planned projects include a skills centre for green technologies, enterprise hub and a new pedestrian bridge.
  • £22.3 million for Darlington to boost employment skills across the town, for young people and adults. Plans include funding for the town’s T-Levels offer, which seeks to help learners kickstart their careers in a number of fields.
  • £25 million for Barrow so the borough council can develop a new learning quarter, community wellbeing hubs and improve the local cycling and walking infrastructure. They also plan to run a housing renewal programme to address the lack of high-quality housing in the region.
  • £25 million for Norwich City Council to help it realise their ‘2040 Vision’, which includes a new digital hub, a digi-tech factory and an advanced construction and engineering (ACE) centre. 
  • £22.1 million for Warrington to utilise vacant spaces and restore a vibrant town centre. The council’s plans include building an electric bus fleet depot, an advanced construction training centre and a health and social care academy.

“This government is levelling up opportunity all across the country. We are unlocking the full potential of towns and communities, giving them the support that they need to thrive,” said Jenrick.

“Backed by £180 million, we are boosting skills, job creation and connectivity in these seven towns – providing investment and confidence at a crucial time for these communities.”

Areas and councils had to bid for funding. All 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal were given a funding allocation and proposals had to be submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). 

The first cohort of towns submitted proposals in July to be reviewed by ministers. The government said more deals would be announced in November.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the £3.6 billion Towns Fund in July 2019.

Image credit | Shutterstock