Two Marches towns are set to benefit from the new Town Deals announced by Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.
Telford and Hereford are among 100 places being invited to develop proposals for a new generation of multi-million-pound Town Deals.
The towns eligible for support from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund include places with proud industrial and economic heritage but have not always benefitted 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, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, 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.”
The Marches LEP, the private sector-led partnership which includes Herefordshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council, today welcomed the announcement.
Graham Wynn OBE, Chairman of the Marches LEP , said: “ We are delighted to see both Telford and Hereford in the list of 100 places which will be supported by this £3.6 billion fund.
“The deals aim to improve connectivity, provide vital social and cultural infrastructure and boost growth, directly benefiting people living and working in these two towns.”
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.