In November 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government released the Towns Fund Prospectus — a plan to provide local governments up and down the country with information on how to develop their own economic growth.
The project was piloted in Grimsby in 2018, and the rest of the plan has used the learning from the pilot scheme in the roll out to 101 towns across England. Lincoln is one of six towns and cities in Greater Lincolnshire to be taking part – Boston, Grimsby, Mablethorpe, Scunthorpe and Skegness.
The scheme aims to drive economic growth in the country after Brexit. The prospectus outlines the three ways in which this can be done:
The process begins with the establishment of a Multi-agency Town Deal Board comprising of multiple representatives. Stakeholders include those from the University of Lincoln; Lincoln College; NHS; Local Enterprise Partnerships; Lincoln BIG; and Karl McCartney MP.
This board is in the process of creating a Town Investment Plan which is made up of ideas from stakeholders on how to boost economic growth in the city. But it may seem that Lincoln has already got a head start with innovation.
Jo Walker, Assistant Director of Growth at the City of Lincoln Council says “Lincoln is a growing city and it has a unique opportunity with its universities and its colleges. So we’ve got a huge opportunity to drive growth, not just for the benefit of Lincoln residents but also for those who live beyond the city boundaries but who still rely on Lincoln to provide facilities and services.”
In recent years, Lincoln has fulfilled many of the objectives of the fund. The regeneration of the Cornhill Quarter has brought in businesses and private sector investment, the new bus station and train station has meant that travel link to London provide greater opportunity for connectivity.
To have your say on the Towns Fund, and how the money should be spent, fill in the following questionnaire. The deadline for this is noon on 16 March.
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