Grimsby and Scunthorpe will each be given £20m to help revive declining high streets and tackle anti-social behaviour, the Prime Minister has announced.
They are among 55 “overlooked” towns that will receive the cash boost over a 10-year period. Rishi Sunak claims the package, worth £1bn overall, will put “funding in the hands of local people” to improve their communities.
It is hoped that the cash will help boost visitor numbers and grow the local economy. The announcement was made on the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Mr Sunak said: “Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work. But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.
“The result is the half-empty high streets, rundown shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity — and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.” He added: “Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up.”
How the cash can be spent
Under the plan, a town board will be set up, including employers, representatives from local authorities and the local MP. They will develop a plan for consultation.
According to officials from the the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), it is hoped that more private sector investment might also be unlocked by auctioning empty high street shops, reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants, and supporting more housing in town centres.
Early suggestions for how the cash might be spend up and down the country include creating more green spaces, creating new market days in town centres and stepping up policing to make public spaces safer.
However, Labour said the Government had taken more from deprived areas than it was giving back. Angela Rayner, the shadow levelling up secretary, said: “It takes a special kind of arrogance for a Prime Minister caught on tape [in August 2022] boasting that he had swiped money from ‘deprived urban areas’ to now expect local people to be grateful for a promise to hand a tiny fraction of it back.
“Levelling up announcements from this Government amount to barely more than shiny headlines, chaos and delays. While the Tories force communities to go cap in hand to Whitehall begging for their own money back, the next Labour government will spread power, wealth and opportunity to all parts of our country.
“We will grow our economy by harnessing the talents, ambition and skills of all British people and, in turn, provide sustainable, long-term funding for councils, and certainty for business to invest. Labour will give these towns their future back.”
Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe