William Eichler 31 January 2020

West Midlands towns set up board to unlock £3.6bn of funding

Newcastle-under-Lyme and Kidsgrove are pushing ahead with ambitious plans to unlock millions of pounds of Government investment designed to give towns a boost.

Two new boards have now been set up to develop proposals for ‘Town Deals’, which ministers say will be supported by a £3.6bn fund.

The boards are a partnership of public and private sector bodies, with council representatives joining leading figures from business, education, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the voluntary sector.

‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both towns,’ said Cllr. Simon Tagg, leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.

‘We are working closely with the new MPs that cover Newcastle and Kidsgrove to ensure that we make the best case possible for a share of the Town Deals’ money.’

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has said locations eligible for support from the Towns Fund ‘include places with proud industrial and economic heritage but have not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.’

‘Both towns have incredible potential and with further support and investment from the Government we are confident the boards can steer them on a path to prosperity,’ Cllr Tagg continued.

‘We have already received half a million pounds initial investment to progress work on the Town Deals as well as our Future High Streets Fund.

‘Setting up the two boards is an important part of the process and we will now be pressing ahead in both towns to make sure our voices continue to be heard in Whitehall.’

Photo: © Jonathan Hutchins

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