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Major boost for British towns with next steps for long-term plans

Major boost for British towns with next steps for long-term plans   

The Government is today publishing guidance and setting out initial funding to enable 55 British towns to develop their long-term plan. 

This follows the Prime Minister announcing the 55 towns that will receive funding and support totalling up to £20 million, as part of a £1.1 billion levelling up investment for towns that have been overlooked for too long.    

 The Long-Term Plan for Towns will ensure that local people can develop plans that deliver the priorities of their community and are given the tools to change their town’s long-term future.  

This new published guidance sets out that the 55 towns will:   

  • Receive up to £20 million of endowment-style funding and support for local people’s priorities, like regenerating local high streets and town centres or securing public safety;  
  • Set up a Town Board by 1 April 2024 to bring together community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP, to develop and deliver the Long-Term Plan for their town and put it to local people for consultation; and 
  • Use a suite of regeneration powers and interventions to boost pride in place to unlock private sector investment, by auctioning empty high street shops, create and maintain parks and green spaces, and improve heritage sites.    

The Government has also confirmed £13.75 million of capacity funding for each benefiting local authority to receive £50,000 to support the appointment of an independent chair for the Town Board who will begin community engagement. This will be followed by a further £200,000 once Boards are in place.    

Under this guidance, towns will need to develop and submit their plan by 1 August at the latest, to start making investments.   

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:   

 We’re giving under invested towns the much-needed funding and support to get going on their long-term plans.

Our £1.1 billion long term plan for towns will make sure communities can take control of their future and invest in local priorities. 

The new guidance confirms Town Boards should be led by an independent chair, who will act as a champion for the town. The chair can be anyone who holds a prominent role in the community such as heads of charities, education establishments or football clubs and will provide leadership to ensure towns boards are community-led and embedded within the local area.  

The Town Board must include the relevant local MP, alongside a senior representative from the police. Other members can be drawn from respected local figures with an obvious passion for their area, including community partners, local businesses and cultural, arts, heritage and sporting organisations.   

This guidance applies to towns across Great Britain and we will release dedicated Scottish and Welsh versions of the policy powers toolkit early in 2024. In Northern Ireland, we look forward to working with a restored Executive to determine the approach to providing support there.   

 The Long-Term Plan for Towns is one part of the government’s wide ranging levelling up programme, and designed to complement other types of funding. In total we have invested more than £13 billion from our levelling up funds to support projects that are improving everyday life for people across the UK.

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