Kidsgrove and Newcastle-under-Lyme, along with 99 other towns in England, have both been selected to apply for a new 'Town Deal' – which could see up to £25 million each to spend on improvements across the two towns!
This is being funded through the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, a government scheme that will help improve where we live, work and enjoy, boost jobs and grow local economies. The Borough Council is the lead authority for both Town Deals,but the responsibility for developing the Investment Plans lies very much with the Kidsgrove and Newcastle Town Deal Boards, which have representatives from the private, public, community, voluntary and education sectors on them.
What is a Town Deal
In September 2019, the Government announced that it was inviting 100 places across the UK to develop proposals for Town Deals. The Towns Fund will provide the core investment in Town Deals. The objective of the Towns Fund is to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth through:
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use: ensuring towns are thriving places for people to live and work, including by: increasing density in town centres; strengthening local economic assets including local cultural assets; site acquisition, remediation, preparation, regeneration; and making full use of planning tools to bring strategic direction and change.
- Skills and enterprise: driving private sector investment and ensuring towns have the space to support skills and small business development.
- Connectivity: developing local transport schemes that complement regional and national networks, as well as supporting the delivery of improved digital connectivity.
Both Kidsgrove and Newcastle-under-Lyme were selected to bid for this opportunity and appointed AECOM (external link), an independent infrastructure consultancy, to work with the two Town Deal Boards to develop separate Town Deal Investment Plans (TIPs) for Newcastle-under-Lyme and Kidsgrove. Each Plan is aiming to secure up to £25 million of Town Deal funding from the Government to improve Newcastle-under-Lyme’s and Kidsgrove's economies. Town Deals are primarily focused on capital projects to build, improve, maintain, or develop assets.
Funding was allocated to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to help them develop the two town deals and part of this funding was used to appoint AECOM to help produce the TIP. AECOM were appointed following a competitive process and approval by both Town Deal Boards.
The Kidsgrove TIP was submitted in October 2020 and we expect to hear the outcome in early Feb 2021. The Newcastle TIP will be submitted at the end of January 2021.
Find out more
Although the two Town Deals are quite separate, they must both keep to the same government guidelines for the submission of the Town Investment Plans. To find out more about the essential elements of a Town Deal, use the links to some useful documents below.
Town Deal Prospectus - This explains how towns can prepare for a Town Deal, including setting up Town Deal Boards, developing investment priorities and project proposals and then producing a locally-owned Town Investment Plan. Proposals should drive long term economic and productivity growth through investment in connectivity, land use and economic assets including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure.
Town Investment Plan Template Guidance (PDF 660 Kb) - more detail about the information that a Town Investment Plan should include and how it should be presented.
Town Deal Boards
Town Deal Boards are not legal entities, their role is advisory to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council as the lead council for the two Town Deals. However, each board is tasked with producing a well-evidenced Town Investment Plan which sets out a clear understanding of the area, focusing on assets, opportunities and challenges which will help to create a business case to secure Town Deal funding. The Boards will meet regularly to develop and subsequently oversee delivery of the Investment Plans. In the exceptional circumstances arising from the COVID pandemic, the meetings will take place electronically according to a defined protocol (PDF 50Kb). For details of the membership of our Town Deal boards please see the separate pages for Kidsgrove and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Now more than ever towns and high streets need support to restore pride and confidence, and build better, stronger local economies for the long term, which is why each of the towns selected to work towards a Town Deal have been able to access additional funding depending on their population size. The early investment will kick-start activity in towns and high streets across the country, ensuring local people can see and feel the benefit as soon as possible. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council submitted details of proposed projects to MHCLG on 11 August and at the end of September the Council was given the green light for all of the projects contained in the submission. Work began on these projects from October 2020 and must be completed by 31 March 2021.
Last updated 5 January 2021