First Town Deals announced to boost regeneration with almost £180 million

Published 27 October 2020
Last updated 27 October 2020

Communities in seven areas across England are set to benefit from up to £178.7 million in new Town Deals, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced today.

Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Darlington, Peterborough, Norwich, Torquay and Warrington are the first of 101 places to be offered a Town Deal and work will now begin with these areas to confirm final funding.

These areas will have the opportunity to invest in their local economies, implementing proposals submitted to the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund, which is designed create jobs and drive growth across the country.

Projects earmarked for these landmark first Town Deals include:  

  • £39.5 million to be used to update the Blackpool Illuminations, for a return to tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic, which used to attract 4 million visitors and bring in £284m a year, and to support the development of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone; 

  • £21.9 milling to modernise Torquay town centre, transforming it into a retail and leisure destination for people visiting, working and living in the town as well as improving transport links with a new focus on walking and cycling routes; and

  • £22.9m investment for Peterborough to lay the groundwork for low carbon living, supporting healthy lifestyles and encourage enterprise and innovation. Planned projects include a skills centre for green technologies, enterprise hub and a new pedestrian bridge.

The High Streets Task Force welcomes this investment at a critical time for towns (however, please note that the Task Force has no involvement with Towns Deal funding, either in selection or post-award support).

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: 

“This government is levelling up opportunity all across the country. We are unlocking the full potential of towns and communities, giving them the support that they need to thrive and the seven Towns Fund Deals that I am announcing today mark the start of locally designed regeneration projects across the country.

“Backed by £180 million, we are boosting skills, job creation and connectivity in these seven towns – providing investment and confidence at a crucial time for these communities.”

Further funding

The offers announced today respond to locally led proposals put forward by Town Deal Boards with representation from business, the local community, public sectors and local MPs. 

All 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal were given a funding allocation with proposals being submitted to the MHCLG. The first cohort of towns submitted proposals in July, before being reviewed by officials and a final decision made by ministers. Further Town Deals are due to be announced in November.

Town Deals build directly on the government’s commitment to decentralise funding and decisions away from Whitehall, invest in the growth of local economies and devolve powers through ambitious City and Growth Deals, providing more than £9 billion of funding to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and introducing eight metro mayors in England.

The Government is working with councils and LEPs to create better transport links, more connectivity and world-class education opportunities across the country.