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Tag Archive: communities

  1. Thirty towns are set to receive over £700 million in funding

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    Funding has been announced by the government for 30 towns across England to boost their local economies, create jobs and new homes, and improve local skills. Helping these communities “build back better” from the pandemic according to a release issued by the government.

    Each of the towns will be sharing over £700 million as part of the government’s multi-billion levelling up programme. With the towns ranging from seaside towns like Hartlepool to historic towns like Bedford and Bishop Auckland. The funding will also include renovations to various attractions helping to boost the cultural and tourism offers from each of the towns. Sustainability will be at the heart of most of these schemes with greener transport infrastructure. This will include new cycle paths and pedestrian walkways to help connect areas in the greenest way. 

    Not only will this help grow local economies, it will also carve out brand new opportunities. Helping to breathe new life into neglected or vacant spaces by creating vibrant new spaces for businesses, community events or much needed new homes. Creating thousands of jobs and investing in opportunities to improve skills, vocational training hubs will help support high-skilled and higher paid jobs in the areas.

    These are welcome plans, especially the funding going into investment in opportunities to improve skills for people in towns across England. The construction and manufacturing industries are facing a skills shortage with more skillers workers retiring than entering so investment into new training will certainly boost numbers. In turn this will boost local businesses by bringing in a fresh wave of skills and innovation, which the industry desperately needs. 

    Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 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 30 areas, backed by over £725 million 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.”


  2. How can new ways of working help Yorkshire’s towns and cities?

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    Some of the Thurston team spent last week on an insightful webinar from The Business Desk and Bevan Britton. On the Renaissance of Towns and how new working practices can inspire towns and cities to reinvent themselves. 

    We’ve all spent the last 15 months completely reinventing the way we work. The pandemic has not only caused monumental changes within business itself but with where we work too. With a large majority of the population shifting to home working, this has ultimately had an impact on our towns and cities with less people commuting. 

    As things start to open back up and workers head back to offices or start hybrid working, a mix of home and office working, this webinar explored what new opportunities this new way of working presents for Yorkshire’s towns and cities. As well as how they can be a catalyst for reinvention and future growth. 

    Discussion considered what local authorities are doing to bring people back and how businesses, developers and planners can reshape the high street. The panel included partners at Bevan and Britton, the Head of Service at Business Doncaster, the CEO and trustee at Piece Hall in Halifax and Project Director of Neighbourhood by Capital and Centric. 

    It was an insightful and interesting webinar that shed a light on some of the challenges that our towns and cities face, and what we can do to make them fit for the future. Our key takeaways were that if we’re to reinvent Yorkshire’s towns and cities, then investment in the North is key and we need to focus on putting the money where it’s needed most to help rebuild some of what we’ve lost. 

    Community was also a big focus with the panelists wanting to see more of a focus on building communities and utilising spaces that have been vacant for years to create business hubs. Unfortunately, a lot of retail businesses were unable to survive the pandemic and we’re seeing more shops and businesses leaving our high streets every day. This decline leaves more vacant spaces and pushes people away to places that are busier. 

    Business hubs and placemaking will help breathe more life into the high street and help bring people back. This sentiment touches on the ’15 minute cities’ concept. Building communities that mean people are living and working within the same area and revitalising areas so that people have everything they need within a short distance of their home.