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The 100 places invited to develop proposals for a new generation of multi-million-pound Town Deals have been announced by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.
The towns eligible for support from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund include places with proud industrial and economic heritage, but have not always benefited from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.
Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.
A total of 45 places across the Northern Powerhouse and 30 places in the Midlands Engine are among the 100 pioneers of new Town Deals as part of the government’s commitment to level up all regions by boosting productivity, skills and living standards.
Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said:
“Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.
“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.
“I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced today to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place. I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.”
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry said:
“In July, the Prime Minister promised to level up 100 towns across the country, and today we’re delivering that promise.
“The best answers for local people will come from local people, that’s why we have listened to people living in these towns and will support them with a mega £3.6 billion fund to drive jobs and economic growth.
“Five years on from the launch of the Northern Powerhouse, we are reaffirming our commitment to the people of the North so they have the support they need to be at the leading edge of a confident, global Britain when we leave the EU on 31 October.”
Today’s announcement follows the Prime Minister’s confirmation in July of an additional £1.325 billion to support towns as part of a renewed vision to level up our regions, which took the total value of the Towns Fund to £3.6 billion.
The government will soon publish a prospectus to guide towns through the process and set eligibility criteria for funding.
Once approved, new Town Deals will improve connectivity, provide vital social and cultural infrastructure and boost growth – with communities having a say on how the money is spent. Decisions on funding any proposals will be made in due course.
The Town Deals Fund builds directly on the government’s commitment to decentralising funding and decisions away from Whitehall and investing in the growth of local economies and devolving powers through ambitious City and Growth Deals, providing more than £9 billion of funding to Local Enterprise Partnerships and introducing 8 metro mayors in England.
On 27 July 2019 the Prime Minister announced that the £3.6 billion Towns Fund would support an initial 100 town deals across England. See further details of the announcement.
This week the Chancellor announced £241 million of the Towns Fund is available to support places in 2020-21 in the Spending Round.
The government wants to make sure that all parts of the UK can benefit from resources to boost productivity and living standards. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is in ongoing discussions with colleagues across HMG about how we can better support our towns in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and make sure areas throughout the UK share in the opportunities of Brexit.
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