£1.6 Billion town fund proposed.
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a £1.6 billion fund will be established to boost growth in places that have not benefitted from the ‘proceeds of growth in the same way as more prosperous parts of the country’.
The money will go towards the creation of new jobs, training for local people and boosting economic activity. Communities, May said, will have a say on how the money is spent.
To be launched later this year, the fund will allocate £1 billion using a needs-based formula. Of this, £583 million will go towards towns across the North, while £322 million will be allocated to the Midlands.
A bidding process will be used to allocated £600 million to communities in any part of England, but the government explained it wants to ensure Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish towns will benefit from the funding.
Local communities will be encouraged to come together to draw up proposals to “restore pride and create new jobs in their area”, the government added.
May 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.”
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire added: “This major new fund builds on more than £9 billion in City and Growth Deals we have delivered since 2010 to help hard working people reach their full potential and to build an economy that works for everyone.
“I look forward to working closely with local leaders to take forward their encouraging proposals and to hear what more they propose to bring benefits to their communities.”
The £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund has been allocated to the regions as follows:
- North West – £281m
- North East – £105m
- Yorkshire and The Humber – £197m
- West Midlands – £212m
- East Midlands – £110m
- South West – £33m
- South East – £37m
- East of England – £25m