Multi-million pound Town Deal for Blyth moves forward

Plans to breathe new life into Blyth town centre have taken a major step forward.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 2:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 1:38 pm
Blyth town centre.
Blyth town centre.

The blueprint for a new multi-million pound Town Deal in Blyth was announced last week by Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.

The town is among 100 places in England to benefit from the initiative which aims to regenerate town centres, boot businesses and improve infrastructure.

As part of the project, council officials will be able to access a share of £16.4million of government funding that will help access the £3.6billion Towns Fund, with communities invited to share their ideas.

The funding could be used to redevelop vacant buildings and land, drive private sector investment by supporting small businesses and ensure young people have the skills they need to get good jobs.

Communities will also be able to consider how they can boost their transport links and increase access to high-speed broadband.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This government is committed to levelling up all parts of the country.

“We created the £3.6bn Towns Fund to help businesses grow, connect communities and give people the skills they need to succeed.

“But no place is exactly the same.

“That is why we want to help local people in Blyth to decide how this investment of up to £25million in each town from the Government can help create new businesses, new jobs and new homes for generations to come.”

The announcement follows the launch of the My Town campaign, giving local people the chance to share what they love about their town and how they want to see it grow.

In just one week, the campaign has drawn over 10,000 responses from across the country.

Lead councils in each place will now bring together a Town Deal Board including representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop bespoke Town Investment Plans by summer 2020.

These plans will provide a clear vision for building on their town’s unique strengths to transform its economic growth prospects and form the basis of negotiations with the Government.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “We are giving local people in Blyth the money and power to decide what is best for their town because they know their community’s unique strengths.

“Together we can build on the billions of pounds the Government has already invested in our towns and the thousands of new jobs and businesses it has delivered, to level up these places across the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.”

A total of 100 places – including 45 places across the Northern Powerhouse and 30 places in the Midlands Engine – will be the pioneers of new Town Deals, building on the Prime Minister’s announcement in July of an additional £1.325billion to support towns as part of a renewed vision to level up every part of the country, which took the total value of the Towns Fund to £3.6billion.