As part of the government’s multi-billion levelling up programme, 26 English towns will share over £610 million to boost their local economies, create jobs and help them build back better from the pandemic.
These new Towns Deals range from seaside towns like Hastings and Hartlepool to the historic market towns of Bedford and Bishop Auckland.
The money will help them to grow their local economies, while also carving out new opportunities to reshape the look and feel of their areas. New life will be breathed back into neglected areas or unused buildings by creating vibrant spaces for businesses, community events or much needed new homes.
Sustainability is at the heart of many of the schemes with new greener transport infrastructure including cycle paths and pedestrian walkways that will connect areas in the greenest way possible.
The Deals will also create thousands of jobs, with many towns investing in opportunities to improve skills through new vocational training hubs that will support high skilled and higher paid jobs in the area for local people.
As part of this initiative:
- Hereford is set to use its £22.4 million investment to introduce a fleet of electric buses and regenerate the museum, library and art gallery into a unique modern visitor attraction.
- Doncaster will use its £24.8 million of investment to upgrade Doncaster Station Gateway and its surroundings by creating greener transport options such as cycle lanes and walking routes. The money will also be used to provide high-quality and attractive commercial space, boosting investment and increasing footfall to the town centre.\
- Hastings £24.3m investment includes a new green and Low Carbon Centre of Excellence that will provide new commercial space while also helping the Town seize the opportunities of the emerging green economy. It will also boost the Town’s tourism offer through improvements to the Castle and other public spaces.
- Hartlepool will invest part of their £25 million deal in a new Health and Care Academy and a Civil Engineering Institute to boost local skills as part of plans to support more higher-skilled, higher-paid jobs in the local area.
Communities secretary Robert 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.
“Today I am announcing new town deals in 26 areas, backed by over £610 million investment from the Towns Fund. This 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.
“Today’s announcement means that 79 Towns Deals have now been agreed – totalling over £2 billion investment in communities across England.
“This is part of comprehensive action by the government to level up opportunity and prosperity across all areas of the country, including through the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, the £220 million Community Renewal Fund and the £830 million Future High Streets Fund.”