Nelson to receive £20m. in Government towns Levelling Up funding

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Nelson has been selected to receive £20m. from the Government as part of a plan to provide long-term investment in towns that have been overlooked and taken for granted.

Selected towns will receive a 10-year £20m. endowment-style fund to be spent on local people’s priorities, like regenerating local high streets and town centres or securing public safety.

In those towns, a Town Board will be set up to bring together community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP, to deliver the long-term plan and put it to local people for consultation.

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Nelson’s Tory MP Andrew Stephenson said: “This £20m. from the government is on top of £25m. government funding already provided for the Nelson Town Deal. This will allow the Nelson Town Board, on which I sit, to make longer-term plans to address a range of issues in the town.

Nelson will receive £20m. in government Levelling up fundingNelson will receive £20m. in government Levelling up funding
Nelson will receive £20m. in government Levelling up funding

“It is a huge boost and alongside the Shared Prosperity Fund which is delivering projects across the borough, and Levelling Up Fund which is supporting projects in Colne, this is further great news for our local area.”

Some 55 towns, including 10 in the North-West, will be given the opportunity to develop a long-term plan supported by a Towns Board. Under the new approach, local people, not Whitehall-based politicians, will be put in charge, and given the tools to change their town’s long-term future.

Towns will also be able to use a suite of regeneration powers to unlock more private sector investment by auctioning empty high street shops, reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants, and supporting more housing in town centres.

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This plan builds on the government’s central mission to level up the UK by putting more power and money in the hands of people who know their areas best to build a brighter future for their community, creating bespoke initiatives that will spark the regeneration needed.

The money was welcomed by Labour Brierfield and Nelson West County Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, but he questioned the timing of the grant ahead of a general election.

Coun. Iqbal said: “I welcome any investment into Nelson but this latest announcement from the prime minister undoubtedly will come with conditions on where and how this money can be spent.

“It’s ironic that three years ago the same Tory government rejected the council’s bid for £25m. as part of the Future High Street Fund with no explanation and now ahead of a general election they announce this figure.

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“I will see what’s in the detail of this announcement but 13 years of the Tories has left people across Pendle struggling to make ends meet, we have foodbanks in our towns helping hard-working families put food on the table.

“The level of poverty amongst children across our borough is alarming and they should help tackle this. I hope the government allow local people to decide how this money should be spent with no interference from London.”

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Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove added: “We know that in our towns the values of hard work and solidarity, common sense and common purpose, endeavour and quiet patriotism have endured across generations. But for too long, too many of our great British towns have been overlooked and undervalued.

“We are putting this right through our Long-Term Plan for Towns backed by over £1 billion of levelling up funding.”