Sector - Finance & Legislation

Stronger Towns fund announced to boost economy in small towns

The Prime Minister has announced a £1.6Bn Stronger Towns fund to help improve job prospects and growth in economically deprived areas.

The Stronger Towns fund will primarily focus on smaller towns in the North and the Midlands to improve the local economy. Local communities are encouraged to bid for a share of the fund.

The money will be allocated based on needs, and £583M has already been planned for towns in the North and £322M for the Midlands. The government also plans to use the fund for towns in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “For too long in our country prosperity has been unfairly spread. Our economy has worked well for some places but we want it to work for all communities.

“Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change – that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control. These towns have a glorious heritage, huge potential and, with the right help, a bright future ahead of them.”

The government’s City and Growth Deals Initiative has seen £9Bn invested since it was announced in 2010. The new fund will be used to create jobs in areas where it is allocated through advice from their Local Enterprise Partnership.

Local high streets have been declining in recent years, with many flagship chain stores closing down branches across the country and local businesses struggling. It is hoped that the new investment will help restore local pride and morale as well as improving the quality of life in more deprived areas.

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