The engineering company Arup has been appointed to lead a consortium to help local authorities access the £3.6bn Towns Fund.
The Towns Fund looks to support the regeneration of communities that have not benefited equally from UK growth, empowering 100 towns across the country to shape their own futures by granting them access to the necessary resources to plan and manage their public works projects.
Councils will be able to use the funding to drive their long-term economic growth and productivity by targeted investment in transport, regeneration and town centres, supporting businesses and skills training.
To access the fund, local authorities will work alongside the consortium as they engage with their communities, public and private partners and investors to develop their own proposals for a ‘Town Deal’ to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The consortium brings together leading organisations across the professional services sector, including Copper Consultancy, Grant Thornton UK LLP, FutureGov, Nichols and Savills. Councils will be able to utilise the expertise of these organisations as they look to access a potential of up to £25m in funding each.
Leading the consortium’s delivery team, Joanna Rowelle, Integrated City Planning Director at Arup, said: ‘These towns have a rich history, which we will work with them to build upon through this fund, capitalising on the many assets within each.
‘Our geographic breadth and diverse resource capability mean that we can respond rapidly and effectively to the needs of this programme, as we bring together bespoke, first-class technical expertise across a range of services and known town priorities.
‘It’s an honour for us to be part of a project of such vital importance to the country, with such transformative implications. We look forward to playing our part in helping these towns to unlock their full potential and secure their future prosperity.’
The contract signed between the consortium and MHCLG is for an initial 12-month period and the project is valued at circa £8m. Work on the project begins immediately.