Prime Minister promises to 'facilitate' on delivering £60m Grimsby town deal
Theresa May is welcomed to Grimsby by new council leader Philip Jackson and Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis (Image: Rick Byrne / Grimsbylive)
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 10 May 2019
The Prime Minister has committed to working with the new Tory administration to continue delivering on the £60m Grimsby town deal.
The regeneration deal was worked-up by North East Lincolnshire Council’s former Labour cabinet but Theresa May said that would not get in the way of realising its full potential.
The Conservative leader, who previously heralded the town deal during her visit to Grimsby in March, said she will be encouraging ministers to deliver on the agreement.
Last summer, only £2m of new money was signed-off as part of agreeing the town deal but the Greater Grimsby Partnership Board, the public and private sector group behind the proposals, still wants to secure a grant worth at least £30m from the Government.
Theresa May commits to delivering Grimsby Town Deal
The 10-year-plan envisages making Grimsby a better place to live, study and work, with a focus on tidying-up and making the most of the borough’s water fronts.
Mrs May visited Grimsby to congratulate North East Lincolnshire’s Tory group the day after their success in the local elections, having taken five extra seats to win their first ever majority at Town Hall Square. North East Lincolnshire was one of the Tory's few success stories on a night that saw them lose more than 1,000 councillors across the country.
She spoke briefly with new council leader, Councillor Philip Jackson, on that occasion at the Humber Royal Hotel but, in an answer to Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers, she said she was ready to “facilitate” meetings between the Tory group and her Westminster ministers.
Mr Vickers, speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, said: “The Prime Minister will recall that the new council leader, Philip Jackson, and I mentioned to her the Greater Grimsby town deal. I know that she will want to push that forward as part of the industrial strategy, which she has just mentioned. Will she agree to facilitate meetings for me and the new council leader to push it forward?”
Mrs May said: “I take this further opportunity to congratulate the new leader of North East Lincolnshire, his new councillors and the whole Conservative council group on taking control of North East Lincolnshire last week, and indeed to congratulate my honourable friend on his work in campaigning to secure that excellent result.
Martin Vickers, Conservative MP for Cleethorpes, questioned Theresa May at PMQs (Image: Jon Corken)
“He is absolutely right – he and the council leader made that point about the town deal, and I will facilitate meetings between my honourable friend, the council leader and the ministers responsible.”
The next stage of the town deal is due to be the skills and training partnership with Lincoln University, to increase job opportunities for those in the town and encourage students to come to Grimsby to study, making use of its port access to the North Sea.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said before the local elections took place that he would be visiting Grimsby to personally sign-off on stage two.
Tory backbencher Mr Vickers said: “I will be pushing for and trying to get that meeting with Greg Clark organised. I’m pressing the Business Secretary for a date for his proposed visit and I will be speaking to the Prime Minister’s officials to arrange a meeting with other ministers.”