On Friday, Lucy welcomed the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to Telford to discuss the allocation of up to £25m from the Government's £3.6 billion new towns fund, to boost economic growth, skills and connectivity.
A total of 100 towns, including Telford, are to benefit from the £3.6 billion fund, which includes places which have a proud industrial and economic heritage, but which have not always benefitted from growth in the same way as more prosperous areas. Local communities, businesses and leaders will join forces to draw up plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity and skills.
As part of the visit, the Secretary of State met with members of the Telford Towns Fund Board - Chairman Graham Wynn, Paul Hinkins, Graham Guest, and Felicity Wingrove - to learn more about the aims of the board and the proposals that are to be put forward for Government consideration. Lucy addressed some of the issues, challenges, assets and opportunities facing Telford as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as the board's focus on long-term economic growth and establishing public-private partnerships with forward-facing businesses.
The Secretary of State, accompanied by Lucy the Chief Executive of Telford & Wrekin Council and board members, also visited one of the sites that may benefit from the New Towns Fund. Station Quarter, a 5.2 acre brownfield development site that sits between Telford Central Railway Station and Telford Town Centre, will link the station with the town centre and provide connected, sustainable, quality mixed use development. The site consists of three phases which will provide an education and enterprise accelerator 'hub', residential spaces and mixed use spaces for new investors.
The proposal is designed to attract private sector investment into Telford by investing in skills, infrastructure, technology, connectivity and culture. A successful bid will demonstrate how funds would be used to generate economic growth in Telford.
Commenting, Lucy Allan MP said:
"Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country is at the heart of this Government’s mission. This is especially true in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
But it is not only about supporting struggling organisations. It's about helping Telford to grow for the future and driving capital investment into our local economy."
Secretary of State, Rt. Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said:
"We created the £3.6 billion direct spend to 'level up' the economy in communities which have in the past been under-invested in.
The £25 million is designed to attract private sector investment into Telford by investing in skills, infrastructure, connectivity and culture.
I have seen some really exciting plans which will provide the skills key to development of the local economy, be it existing companies or entrepreneurs just starting out."