Newcastle-under-Lyme has been chosen to work with the Government to develop regeneration plans which could unlock millions of pounds of investment.
It is among 100 places which have been invited to develop proposals for “Town Deals” which Ministers say will be supported by a £3.6 billion fund.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said that communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects. The Government will soon publish a prospectus to guide locations through the funding process and set eligibility criteria. Once approved, it is anticipated that new Town Deals will improve broadband connectivity, provide vital social and cultural infrastructure and boost growth – with communities having a say on how the money is spent.
Council Leader Simon Tagg is delighted with the announcement and has welcomed news that both Newcastle and Kidsgrove could be in line for significant Whitehall support from the fund.
‘Huge boost for our area’
He said: “The fact that both of our town centres have been recognised among the 100 locations revealed in the Government’s list is very welcome. We are now firmly in the running as potential recipients for funding from the Government could well mean a huge boost for our area and we are eagerly awaiting the release of the funding prospectus. Once that is available we will be working hard to ensure we tap into the maximum amount of money we possibly can for our two towns.”
Newcastle’s inclusion in the Town Deals scheme comes after it progressed to the next stage of the Future High Streets Fund, a hugely competitive fund designed to make sure town centres remain vibrant by helping them to attract new businesses, boost local growth and create new jobs. It means the borough council will receive up to £150,000 to develop detailed project proposals relating to the Ryecroft site in Newcastle town centre, building on initial plans submitted to the Government in March. In the next phase councils will be eligible for up to £25 million of capital to invest in the regeneration of the town centre.
Newcastle Business Improvement District manager Amy Williams said: “Newcastle’s inclusion in the Town Deals project, as well as the Future High Street Fund, is very welcome news indeed. We’ll be working closely with the council and other partners to make sure Newcastle gets as much funding from the Government as possible to boost the regeneration of our town centre.”