The Government announced over £1 billion from the Towns Fund for a further 45 Town Deals across England which will give towns the tools to design and implement a growth strategy for their area and aid recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
The Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund aims to level up the UK economy by improving connectivity, skills and culture, creating new jobs and boosting growth.
Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a total of £131 million of funding for six Greater Lincolnshire towns and cities:
- Skegness £24.5m
- Mablethorpe £23.9m
- Boston £21.9m
- Lincoln £19m
- Scunthorpe £20.9m
- Grimsby £20.9m
Each town now has to agree heads of terms with the Government, confirm match funding contributions and decide how to allocate the amount offered across their proposed projects. Among the schemes which could get funding are: Lincolnshire coast
- The Colonnade at Sutton on Sea featuring a new café, restaurant, gallery and exhibition spaces
- A new National Trust visitor centre on the former Sandilands clubhouse and golf course
- The Skegness Foreshore transformation which will expand and diversify the visitor offer
- Cultural Skegness which links the Foreshore to the theatre and proposes new educational activities and an exciting cultural and sports programme of events
- A new multi-user cycle trail providing connectivity for visitors and residents to Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells
- Renovation of Skegness railway station
- A new public square at Riverhead Square and better pedestrian and cycle loops to connect the town centre and Alexandra Dockside
- The creation of a major new waterfront residential community and new Victoria Mill Quarter
- Redevelopment of Boston railway station
- A cluster of heritage projects to transform the historic town centre including investment into buildings, public realm and green spaces
- The development of the medieval library at St Botolph’s and a contemporary lighting scheme
- Digital technologies to enable and connect access to arts, culture and heritage
- Development of the UK’s first Hospitality, Events and Tourism (HEAT) College
- Restoration of the Grade II listed Central Market Building
- Restoration of the 13th-century Greyfriars Building
- Creation of an advanced manufacturing park to attract more world-class engineering firms to the area
- Development of the town’s Cultural Quarter and progressing work on a Health and Emergency Services Hub
- Investment in gigabit broadband to help businesses gain a competitive edge
- 500 new homes in the town and a Skills Development Programme
Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “We are delighted to hear such good news for the towns and city across Greater Lincolnshire and send our congratulations to all involved, from the leaders and the officers to the Town Deals Boards themselves.
“This is a fantastic outcome for Greater Lincolnshire as whole and rich reward for the strong partnership working that happens here. I look forward to continuing to work with all of the Town Deals Boards and to seeing the impact this will have on our businesses and communities.”
Councillor Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “These plans have always been about investing in a better future for the people of Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire. That ambition has been supported with the announcement of Government cash to get the many varied and transformational projects going.
“We’ve seen a lot of development across the town in the last few years, we’ve had a great deal of support and cash through Covid-19 to keep things going and now this will be an essential part of the recovery and renewal.
“These very serious plans for investment across the next five years will create jobs, they will create even better conditions for growth and make the area a more attractive environment for businesses to invest.
“The end result be more highly skilled, well paid, sustainable jobs in Scunthorpe for the people who live here.”
Holly Mumby-Croft, MP for Scunthorpe and Vice-Chair of the Towns Fund Board, said: “It is really pleasing to see the Government’s commitment to levelling up by backing the bold ambition of the people in Scunthorpe – this will create a better future for many people.
“I am proud that Scunthorpe is central to this nationally important strategy. There has been a lot of investment and there is now much more to come.
“Scunthorpe is doing really well and we’re working closely with the council, the people of the town and businesses to connect people, jobs and the high street – the coming months as we emerge from Covid-19 are going to be very exciting.”
Boston Borough Council Leader Councillor Paul Skinner said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured a Town Deal. This will help in launching Boston into the future, building on its unique heritage and investing in professional and technological support needed that will shape the development of an aspirational, skilled and healthy population.”
Chair of the Boston Town Deal Board and MD of Chestnut Homes, Neil Kempster, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be receiving the funding we bid for back in October. This is a culmination of so much work, and it’s so exciting to see our hard work being rewarded.
“Boston deserves to be recognised as a historic and forward-thinking town. As with other Towns Fund recipients, we are determined to make sure this is a catalyst for more investment and further growth for the town. The projects we have already in motion thanks to accelerated funding from the Towns Fund are ambitious in their scope, and this further funding just underlines that.”
East Lindsey District Council Leader, Councillor Craig Leyland, said: “We are delighted to have secured a Town Deal for both town areas of Skegness and Mablethorpe. Not only will this see the Town Investment Plans come to life, but the focus this brings to the Lincolnshire coast can help us secure more investment in the future.”
Chair of the Connected Coast Board, Sarah-Louise Fairburn, said: “We are incredibly excited to have achieved two Town Deals for the Lincolnshire Coast, and it is down to the hard work of the Towns Fund team and support of the ambitious Connected Coast board.
“To us, this is the start of a transformative journey and the Towns Fund is just the tip of the iceberg. The hard work starts now and we hope this initial success will act as a catalyst for further investment, creation of jobs and growth on the coast, and even more interest from the private sector.
“We know the potential and the great base we have to build on here, so we can’t wait to start this great journey of change. We want people to visit, residents to be proud of their area, and for the future to be secure for business. There’s real passion here and we want to capitalise on that.”
Jo Walker, City of Lincoln Council’s Assistant Director for Growth, said: “It’s fantastic news that Lincoln will receive £19m of Town Deal funding.
“This money, and the projects it will fund, will help make a significant difference in the city as we come out of lockdown and begin our recovery from the pandemic.
“We now await the full detail on which of our projects have been approved. We will then put the wheels in motion to ensure these projects are delivered for the benefit of the people of Lincoln and to help consolidate our position as a leading visitor destination.”
Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “I’m delighted to hear that our Town Deal plans have been recognised in the budget. These announcements come hot on the heels of the Future High Streets Fund bid for £17m, resubmitted to Government just last week, in which the council and Freshney Place joined forces to bid to transform the western end of the shopping centre, creating a new market hall and areas for leisure use.
“There’s real optimism for Grimsby’s future, and having a vibrant and enriched town centre that can serve the whole community is significantly important.
“We are making a step change to how we build our local economy. Change is not just desirable, but critical to the future of the town as it recovers from the impacts of the Covid pandemic. This extra investment will be a vital tool in making the vision for our town a reality, helping to make it somewhere we’re all proud of.”