£22.3m Telford Towns Fund award approved
Telford’s Town Deal Board has approved the £22.3m funding from the government’s Towns Fund, designed to transform the town centre, boost economic growth, and ensure a bright future for residents and businesses.
The board originally put forward a submission for £25m. Government came forward with £22.3m, which required the board to review the original bid and adapt some of the plans to fit the funding available. It has now completed that work and has written to government to formally accept the funding.
Graham Wynne OBE, chair of the Telford Town Deal Board, explained:
“As a board we are obviously delighted to have attracted such a significant amount of funding to the town and the welcome news that the government broadly approved our proposals.
“At the heart of our submission was a drive to upskill the local workforce for an increasingly digital world. So, the plans for Station Quarter included a digital skills and enterprise hub, to be delivered by Telford College and the University of Wolverhampton, alongside a partnership of local businesses and the introduction of town centre living. The plans for Station Quarter will still go ahead, although we have had to amend our costings accordingly to take into account the funding offer from government.
“The Town Deal Board also recognised investing directly into our communities is vital to sustained economic growth and spreading those benefits and ensuring links between Telford town centre with Oakengates and Wellington was central to the bid. Both towns have distinct identities and heritage, providing vital services to wide catchment areas and have enormous potential.
“I can confirm the investment from the Towns Fund will also be targeted into those towns, and the board is currently looking at other ways we can support the delivery of our plans to ensure the people of Oakengates and Wellington don’t miss out.”
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, added:
“The Towns Fund award has already allowed us to bring in around £100m in match funding. As an authority committed to investing in our town, that’s a tremendous achievement and something I’m sure the government will be pleased and relieved to hear.
“However, the government’s award is around 10% less than we asked for, so the council is actively looking at ways we can step in to address that shortfall. I hope to make an announcement within the next few weeks about how we can support the plans for Wellington and Oakengates, as well as our other borough centres.”