Council steps in to ensure Oakengates receives full share of Towns Fund
Telford & Wrekin Council has announced a package to help bridge the government funding gap that will ensure plans for the continued regeneration of Oakengates town centre become a reality.
Earlier this month Telford’s Town Deal Board wrote to government to formally accept their funding offer of £22.3m, despite their original submission totalling £25m. This meant the board having to review their proposals and scale back the investment plans.
However, the council has now stepped in to top up the government funding, ensuring that Oakengates town centre will still get the £3m that was proposed.
The funding which will build on the success of the Pride in Our High Street programme will support revitalising the high street, encouraging more opportunities for new businesses and residential development and improvements to the public realm. The next step is to develop the details of the programme over the coming months, which will include talking to local people, businesses, and organisations.
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “Whilst we were incredibly pleased to receive government funding for our Towns Fund plans, we were also frustrated by not getting the full amount for our ambitious projects.
“As a local authority we are totally committed to investing in Telford and maximising support for our communities. So, we have been working behind the scenes to find a way to plug the funding gap and I’m really delighted to say that we will be directing additional council funds to make our plans for Oakengates become a reality.”
Councillor Gilly Reynolds, ward member for Oakengates and Ketley Bank, said: “It’s great news Telford & Wrekin Council is stepping in with this additional funding to regenerate Oakengates town centre and I look forward to being part of developing the plans.”
Councillor Stephen Reynolds, Mayor of Oakengates, added: “This is a town that has enormous potential, and I was concerned that it might be disadvantaged due to government funding being less than we had anticipated. However, this extra investment from Telford & Wrekin Council will make a real difference to our residents and businesses.”