10 Jun 2021
Twenty-six councils have been awarded funding by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government programme, intended to boost local economies and create jobs through projects including housebuilding.
It is especially aimed at upgrading neglected areas and unused buildings for use as new homes, or commercial or community spaces.
The £3.6bn Towns Fund was announced by Boris Johnson shortly after he became prime minister and is touted as a key aspect of his government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.
Controversy over the fund emerged last year after the National Audit Office pointed to inconsistencies in funding decisions for the allocations – with deprived towns passed over for lower-priority areas by ministers.
Seaside towns Hastings and Hartlepool and historic market towns Bedford and Bishop Auckland are among the beneficiaries of the latest round of funding.
Housing 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 £610m 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 more than £2bn has now been invested through the fund, with 79 of 101 areas securing deals.
Each deal sees the government agree to proposals put forward by the recipient council and its Town Deal board, with input from local businesses, communities, the public sector and MPs.
The councils to receive funding through the new allocations are:
- Bedford: £22.6m
- Bishop Auckland: £33.2m
- Bridgwater: £22.6m
- Brighouse: £19.1m
- Cleator Moor: £22.5m
- Corby: £19.9m
- Dewsbury: £24.8m
- Doncaster: £24.8m
- Glastonbury: £23.6m
- Hartlepool: £25m
- Hastings: £24.3m
- Hereford: £22.4m
- King’s Lynn: £25m
- Long Eaton: £24.8m
- Loughborough: £16.9m
- Newcastle-under-Lyme: £23.6m
- Oldham: £24.4m
- Redcar: £25m
- Redditch: £15.6m
- Rotherham: £31.6m
- Stapleford: £21.1m
- Telford: £22.3m
- Walsall: £21.3m
- Worcester: £19.6m
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