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.”