Lowestoft and Ipswich to receive £25m each from Government's Towns Fund for regeneration projects
Two Suffolk towns are set to receive a combined total of £50 million for regeneration, it was confirmed in today's Budget announcement.
The towns were chosen as two of the 101 UK towns to benefit from the £3.6 billion fund - which aims to drive economic growth and act as a catalyst for future investment - in 2019.
Each town was invited by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to develop a proposal for a Towns Deal, with up to £25 million available to bid for.
A Town Investment Plan which sets out Lowestoft's ambitions, opportunities and challenges over the next 10 years was submitted to the MGCLG in October 2020 as the basis of a £24.9 million application to the Towns Fund.
The plan was developed in partnership with Lowestoft Place Board and is managed by East Suffolk Council, and as part of the Budget announcement today, it was confirmed that the funding bid was successful and the full £24.9 million was agreed.
Stephen Javes, chairman of the Lowestoft Place Board, said it was 'incredibly exciting news' for Lowestoft.
"We are delighted to have secured this funding which will enable us to deliver on the ambitions set out within the Town Investment Plan and help the town to thrive, by providing a catalyst for future change.
"We are looking forward to engaging with stakeholders and the community as this work progresses.”
Meanwhile Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Economic Development said: “This is great news and reiterates that Lowestoft really is a town worth investing in.
"There is already so much happening in the town and this funding will drive real change through long-term economic growth, through investment in improvements to connectivity, land use and economic and cultural assets.”
Work is now set to begin to put a business case together for each project within the Town Investment Plan to show how they will be implemented within the timeframe of the funding.
It's expected that this process will take 12 months and work to deliver the projects should begin from April 2022.
Meanwhile, Ipswich MP Tom Hunt, who is a member of the Town Deal Board, said Ipswich had won the full £25 million it had bid for.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, he said the money would fund 11 projects across the town - which have already been out for public consultation and agreed upon.
"The money will be spent across the whole town and every corner of the town," he said.
"I think that it's real, positive news."