Grimsby highlighted as £1.6b Stronger Towns Fund unveiled
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 5 Mar 2019
Grimsby has been highlighted as a blueprint of the support to lift communities in Britain, after a £1.6 billion fund to create stronger towns was announced by Government.
The major package flags up the emerging Town Deal as more will now be rolled out as Westminster seeks to balance prosperity across the UK as a post-Brexit era is set to dawn.
Grimsby's pilot programme was included in the Industrial Strategy, with a £60 million package to unlock growth, create jobs, reverse decay and deliver regeneration alongside public and private partners.
A university campus, homes, culture and better business environment are all part of the vision.
Now a £197 million Stronger Towns Fund has been put forward for Yorkshire and Humber, to be delivered over seven years from the next financial year.
Announcing it, Prime Minister Theresa May, pictured above, said: ““For too long in our country prosperity has been unfairly spread. Our economy has worked well for some places but we want it to work for all communities.
“Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change – that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control.
“These towns have a glorious heritage, huge potential and, with the right help, a bright future ahead of them.”
Grimsby was referenced by Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister and signatory to the Town Deal.
He said: “We must create inclusive growth everywhere, which means enabling towns and people across the Northern Powerhouse to prosper.
“What has worked in Grimsby is a blueprint for how the Government can work with local people to build infrastructure, confidence and ambition.
Stakeholders gather following the signing of the Grimsby Town Deal in July.
“I am determined for the whole north to grow and this fund will ensure no one is left behind.”
Only on Friday, Lord Lamont, part of the Town Deal team, enthused about the work being done while addressing Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce’s dinner at Healing Manor Hotel.
He said: “We have every opportunity to make things better, for Grimsby to build itself the future it deserves.”
The teenage town resident who went on to become Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “The hollowing out of Freeman Street and high streets is common for so many towns. Issues with educational attainment etc. The way in which the council has been tackling this has been very energetic, and I congratulate the chief executive of the council, and the energy put in to work with the private sector.”
Across England, a total of £1 billion will be allocated at Local Enterprise Partnership area level using a needs-based formula, with over half of this share – £583 million – going to the Northern Powerhouse.
Another £600 million will be available through a competitive process. Local partners will be encouraged to come together to bring forward ambitious proposals in the coming months.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP, pictured above, said: “We have listened to people across Yorkshire and Humber who feel left behind by momentous changes to their local communities and I’m determined to provide the support they need to create a prosperous future beyond Brexit.
“This major new fund builds on over £9 billion in City and Growth Deals we have delivered since 2010 to help hardworking people reach their full potential and to build an economy that works for everyone.
“I look forward to working closely with local leaders as they develop their ideas and to hearing what more they propose to bring benefits to their local communities.”
The further package has been welcomed at Grimsby Town Hall.
Cllr Peter Wheatley, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We very much welcome the news about this funding stream. We’ll be looking at this to see how we can make this work alongside the Town Deal and other regeneration projects already in the pipeline, and we’ll be working with government and the LEP to see how we can make the most of it for the people of North East Lincolnshire.”