£750K boost for Darwen Town Deal
The Darwen Town Deal has been boosted by a further £750,000 for ‘quick win’ projects.
The Government announced last week that it would make the extra funds available to help accelerate schemes to regenerate towns across the country.
The new funding is in addition to up to £25m that can be secured for Darwen as part of the main Town Deal Fund.
The Darwen Town Deal Board, made up of experts from right across the area, is leading the business case needed for the Town Deal and is now looking at projects it can bring forward quickly to use the new cash.
Early ideas include restoring Darwen Tower and investing in the facilities at Darwen Football Club.
Additional money could be used to develop the Junction 4 Skatepark for the town’s youngsters.
The board’s chair, Wayne Wild, Group Commercial Director of WEC Group – one of the town’s biggest employers, said: “This is like Christmas coming early!
“It will be really welcome news for the people of Darwen, especially for all those who have been working on the tower restoration campaign for a long time.
“As the Town Deal Board, are working at pace to put together a really strong business case by the end of this year to secure the full £25m available.
“This unexpected funding boost means we can get projects off the ground quickly. That’s what we all want to see – really good things happening for Darwen.
“We’re incredibly lucky to have a lot of really good people involved who are giving their time and expertise to make a real difference to the town we all love.
“We also have people from different groups and organisations who can help provide additional funding, including Darwen Town Council.
“This new funding really is music to all of our ears!”
In recent weeks, the Darwen Town Deal Board, which is made up of business and community leaders, has switched to meeting virtually to continue the work on putting together the business plan that will be presented to Government.
The town’s MP, Jake Berry, a member of the board, welcomed news of the £750,000 boost.
He added: “We have said from the very beginning that this is a once in a generation opportunity for Darwen – it very well could be a once in a lifetime chance.
“The Darwen Town Deal fund is for long-term projects that will regenerate the whole town and make a real difference to the lives of the residents who live and work here.
“This new funding means we can progress some quick win projects that the residents have told us they’d like to see brought forward.
“It’s early days, but the board is working really hard together to identify projects and get the right plans in place to get the work up and running as quickly as possible.”
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