Five places in Lancashire could each receive up to £25m in Government's new 'Towns Fund'

Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick
Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick

Five places in Lancashire will benefit from up to £25m of government money the Communities Secretary has said.

Preston, Blackpool, Leyland, Darwen and Nelson were named among the first to be eligible for a share of the new £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

The towns eligible for support as they design a new generation of multi-million-pound Town Deals include places with proud industrial and economic heritage like Preston and Blackpool which have not benefited from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

A total of 42 places across the Northern Powerhouse are among the 100 pioneers of new Town Deals as part of the Government’s commitment to level up all regions by boosting productivity, skills and living standards.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities is central to the mission of this government.

“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in infrastructure, technology, skills and culture.

“I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced today to agree proposals to invest up to £25m in each place.

“Blackpool is a town steeped in history and we recently announced £1,750,000 for a new Blackpool Museum to tell the story of the Great British seaside holiday. We want to go much further and support Lancashire towns like Leyland and Darwen make the most of the opportunities Brexit brings.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Jake Berry said: “We have already invested in local road infrastructure and will complement the government’s £434m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal driving new jobs and homes and want to see the area continue to grow and prosper.

“We’re leaving the European Union on October 31 and investing back into places like Blackpool, Preston and Darwen to ensure they can prosper as part of our determination to level up our regions and unite the country.

“In July, the Prime Minister promised to level up 100 places across the country, and today we’re delivering that promise in Lancashire.

“The best answers for local people will come from local people, that’s why we have listened to people living in these towns and will support them with a mega £3.6 billion fund to drive jobs and economic growth.”

Once approved, the Government says new Town Deals will improve connectivity, provide vital social and cultural infrastructure and boost growth – with communities having a say on how the money is spent. Decisions on funding any proposals will be made in due course.