Last month, it was announced that Telford is to benefit from the latest round of Levelling Up money receiving £20m of Government funding for regeneration. This is on top of the £23m already assigned through the Towns Fund and where work is already taking place at Station Quarter. Residents were told by the Council Leader that Telford had been forgotten by Government, left out and ignored. So, it is great news that the Council Leader was wrong, and that Telford has received this investment in our future; rightly people now want to know how this money will be spent.
The latest £20m bid designed by the Council is a complete renovation of the Place Theatre Oakengates. Understandably, local traders and residents have raised their concerns with me about the potential for disruption and I will be scrutinising the Council’s progress delivering on its bid. Local people including traders, must benefit. It is also key that the new Place Theatre delivers a viable income stream and can pay its way. I am delighted Oakengates has this funding and I want to make sure that it does indeed create opportunities for our community. Government has put its faith in Telford to the tune of over £40 million, to secure our future. Inevitably with the inflationary environment we are experiencing some elements of our plans may need to be scaled back. That is the reality for any building project in today’s world.
Meanwhile at Station Quarter, work is progressing well. The regeneration of the area includes a new maths and digital skills hub with Telford College at its heart. I have always supported increasing opportunities for all my constituents and this new facility will help residents learn skills and train for the jobs of the future. That is levelling up in action. It is about creating opportunities for those who would not otherwise not have access to them. Telford has benefitted massively from Government levelling up funding and we should be pleased and proud to have this opportunity to make Telford an even better place to live work and raise a family.