KIDSGROVE’S INVESTMENT PLANS TAKE SHAPE
Written by Jane Lythgoe on 23 November 2020
Exciting development plans for Kidsgrove that could significantly improve the quality of life for its communities for decades to come have moved forward for approval.
This comes after the government invited 100 places to develop proposals for a Town Deal as a part of a £3.6 billion Towns Fund, and both Newcastle and Kidsgrove were included in the list.
The nation-wide fund provides an opportunity to drive significant investment into two areas of the Borough in one ‘big-hit’ with multiple strategic strands.
The Kidsgrove plan asks for around £25 million in funding from Town Deal monies and, if successful, that will be matched from a number of other sources.
The Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Simon Tagg, added: “This is exciting and timely for both Kidsgrove and Newcastle and has the potential for massive improvements in the area within a relatively short time.
“If the plan is approved and progressed we will see better connectivity for Kidsgrove with improved railway networks, improved employment prospects, enhanced sports facilities and green open spaces and investment in the unique Harecastle canal. This will no doubt improve opportunities for residents but also attract visitors and investment to the area as well.
“There been nothing like this for generations in this area.”
Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, said: “I believe we have a really exciting pitch to Government that would see a huge transformation to Kidsgrove. Providing better health and wellbeing facilities is even more important due to COVID-19 and making the most of our green outdoor spaces and canal will help to reinvigorate the long forgotten town.
“I am delighted to have been working hard with the Town Deal Board and will now be lobbying in Westminster to get our full £25 million ask.”
The Council established a Town Deal Board for both Newcastle and the Kidsgrove area to take the projects forward and to bring in close working arrangements with partners. The Kidsgrove Board has been responsible for shaping the proposals for the Town Investment Plan (TIP) with support from the Council.
The strategy has three main objectives:
- To drive growth and opportunity through enhanced enterprise infrastructure
- To create a connected, accessible town centre which links key assets, retains the heritage and uniqueness of Kidsgrove and delivers and drives new demand and footfall.
- To maximise the leisure and recreation opportunities available in Kidsgrove, providing facilities that are supported by communities and opportunities for residents to improve their health and wellbeing.
The next steps will see the TIP assessed by the Government’s Town Hub and, if successful, will be among projects selected across the UK for further business case development. On this basis it is expected that the project delivery would begin as soon as the next financial year – from April 2021 onwards.
The results of the Government’s assessment will be reported to Cabinet at the point when it is received by the Council.
In the meantime, Newcastle’s Cabinet will fully endorse the strategic plans at their meeting next week, 11 November, and will also receive a full report on the Kidsgrove element of the Towns Deal work so far.
The full Cabinet report will be published here: https://tinyurl.com/y52858vd alongside the full strategy document.
A video to accompany the submission can be seen here: https://youtu.be/kFw635IijIo