Dynamic plans intended to achieve significant economic growth and the reinvention of Goole town centre have been hailed a success following today’s announcement from the Government’s Town Deal Fund.
The major capital funding, confirmed on 8 June, follows Goole Town Deal Board’s submission in January of an ambitious Town Investment Plan, focussing on attracting further investment, driving economic growth, regeneration and recovery.
Chaired by local business owner Joseph Richardson, the board was formed in March 2020 after Goole was invited as one of 101 towns to apply for up to £25 million from the Government’s Town Deal Fund.
Andrew Percy, MP for Goole, added: “This is a fantastic announcement by the Government which goes beyond what I think many of us expected. They will be directed at projects which are intended to improve the lives of Goole residents, such as the multi-million pound proposed upgrades to the leisure centre and the VPG, whilst also funding projects which aim to help regenerate or restructure the town centre. Whilst we can all see great things happening up at Goole 36, the core of the town itself remains in real need of help. This is a problem faced in many town centres and this Government funding for our Town Deal will provide us with record investment to try to regenerate the town.”
Shaped through a Town Deal Board of local strategic ambassadors, alongside significant public engagement and involvement, the ambitions have been hailed a success with this announcement to invigorate public spaces, create green transport links and help transform neglected buildings to create vibrant spaces for businesses and community events. The ‘deal’ will focus on Goole town centre to create opportunities for reinvention of public spaces, and nurture the conditions to improve skills leading to higher paid jobs in the area for local people.
This significant funding boost means a range of projects with wide-reaching long term benefits could be taken forward and this may include:
- Delivering Goole Market Hall Reinvention
- Creating a Town Centre Public Realm Programme
- Implementing a Property Activation Fund to support reanimation of town centre buildings
- Modernising Goole Leisure Centre
- Developing Victoria Pleasure Ground
- Implementing the Dutch River Cycleway and Improved Flood Banks
- Developing Goole Station Transport Hub
- Establishing faster, direct rail services between Goole and Leeds
- Implementing a One Stop Skills and information Shop
- Developing Full Fibre Broadband in Old Goole
Councillor Jonathan Owen, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, added: “The investment adds to our bold vision for how Goole could look by 2030. East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to growing the economy, supporting our residents’ ambitions, and creating the opportunities that will enable Goole to be a greener and healthier place to live, visit, work and invest. We’re tackling enhancing economic growth in a way that recognises climate change as well as the impact of the pandemic so that everyone benefits, and Goole becomes an even more attractive destination and a town of regional significance.”
The next phase involves consideration of the Government offer to determine if there is any need to reprioritise projects before advancing with full project business cases, planning, practicalities and, ultimately, project delivery. A number of conditions will have to be accepted to receive the funding.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council, as the accountable body for the fund, and the Town Deal Board have a three week period to sign a Heads of Terms agreement with Government. Following that, a further two months is given to prepare more details on each of the proposals and then progress business cases. The ‘deal’ will operate from 2021 to 2026, the bicentenary year for Goole.
Joseph Richardson, chairman of the Goole Town Deal Board, said: “This is a truly exciting and unprecedented time for Goole. The fantastic news that the Government would like to offer the town significant investment validates the many hours of work, research and engagement that have been dedicated to pulling together a compelling and deliverable Town Investment Plan. I’m overjoyed the board has secured the funding ask towards the vision and would like to thank everyone who took part in public engagement to share their priorities for investment.
“The most important element when deciding which projects we’re taking forward is the collective contribution they make to the overarching vision, strategy, and objectives we set out in the Town Investment Plan. We have to consider the key benefits we’re aiming to achieve for Goole as well as what mix of projects will unlock the town’s potential and make the greatest overall contribution to realising the strategy and objectives. We’ll also be considering which projects best address market failure and have the greatest potential to bring in long term investment to Goole.”
Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism at East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Goole Town Deal board member, said: “This is wonderful news. A major investment like this will attract further investment into Goole, generate and sustain many opportunities and give increased confidence to the businesses community. I’m delighted for Goole’s residents and businesses.”
The range of interlinked projects will draw on lessons learned from COVID-19, and further boost the ongoing recovery work. The strategic vision is being backed by a significant private sector investment package at Goole 36 that will complement investment in the town centre.
To find out more about Goole Town Deal visit www.gooletowndeal.co.uk