The blueprint for a new generation of multi-million Town Deals was announced today (1 November 2019) by Communities and Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.
The Towns Fund prospectus provides information to councils in 100 places chosen to pioneer Town Deals – they will receive a share of £16.4 million capacity funding to kick-start their innovative plans and bring their communities together.
Each place will have the opportunity to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Worcestershire has received 2 selections with both Redditch Town and Worcester City being part of the 100 chosen places.
The funding could be used to redevelop vacant buildings and land, drive private sector investment by supporting small businesses and ensure young people have the skills they need to get good jobs. Communities will also be able to consider how they can boost their transport links and increase access to high-speed broadband.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: ”This government is committed to levelling up all parts of the country. We created the £3.6bn Towns Fund to help businesses grow, connect communities and give people the skills they need to succeed. But no place is exactly the same. That is why we want to help local people to decide how this investment of up to £25 million in each town can be used to help create new businesses, new jobs and new homes for generations to come.”
The announcement follows the launch of the My Town campaign, giving local people the chance to share what they love about their town and how they want to see it grow. In just one week, the campaign has drawn over 10,000 responses from across the country.
Lead councils in each place will now bring together a Town Deal Board including representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop bespoke Town Investment Plans by summer 2020.
These plans will provide a clear vision for building on their town’s unique strengths to transform its economic growth prospects and form the basis of negotiations with the government.
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Rt Hon Jake Berry MP said: “We are giving local people the money and power to decide what is best for their town because they know their community’s unique strengths. Together we can build on the billions of pounds the government has already invested in our towns and the thousands of new jobs and businesses it has delivered, to level up these places across the Northern Powerhouse and beyond. “