Darwen Town Deal Board celebrates £750K funding windfall that will save the Tower!
Darwen’s iconic tower is set to be restored thanks to a Government cash injection secured by the Darwen Town Deal Board.
The board, made up of experts who all have links to the town, has secured the full £750,000 for four important projects in the town.
This includes restoring the landmark Jubilee Tower as well as investment for AFC Darwen, the Junction 4 Skatepark and a feasibility study for a new elite cricket academy at Darwen Vale – all with a vision of creating a new sports village in the town.
The funding was made available this summer by the Government for ‘quick win’ schemes with a bid for up to £25m of Town Deal funding currently being developed by the board with a view to being submitted early next year.
Chair of the board, Wayne Wild, Group Commercial Director of WEC Group – one of the town’s biggest employers, said:
This really is fantastic news for our town.
There’s been a big community fundraising effort to be able to restore the tower for future generations and this funding will mean the much-needed work will be able to get underway as soon as possible.
The money for the sporting facilities in the town also gives us the chance to look to develop a new sports village – providing better opportunities for our youngsters, the opportunity to create new jobs and attract visitors to support our local economy – which is more important now than ever before.
The Darwen Town Deal offers a chance to help kick-start the transformation of the area and as a board we’re working incredibly hard to develop a really strong bid as the full £25m is not guaranteed.
This has involved a lot of people giving their times and skills to put Darwen in the best position we can to secure the funding and make a real difference to the town.
The board is developing a town investment plan that needs to meet the Government’s strict guidelines on how the Town Deal funding can be spent.
It must be used for projects that will improve the local economy and regenerate the area. This includes things like new buildings and developments, new facilities and infrastructure – such as key roads, gateways and digital connectivity.
Deputy Chair of the Board, Councillor Phil Riley – Executive Member for Regeneration on Blackburn with Darwen Council, added:
In these uncertain times that we are living in, news like this really will be welcomed by so many.
For many residents in Darwen, the Tower is a symbol of home and the moors have been busier than ever this summer by residents really cherishing the fantastic outdoor space they have right on their doorsteps.
This funding will top up the cash raised by the community – superbly led by the Rotary Club – and funding pledged by the Town Council. It means we can get on with securing the tower’s future to be enjoyed by many generations to come.
The Darwen Town Deal fund is an opportunity to do something really good for the town and a lot of hard work is going in to preparing a bid that will secure as much of the money as possible.
I would like to thank all of the board members and everyone involved for all their efforts.
Public engagement opportunities will be made available as part of the process and there’ll be opportunities for residents, businesses and community to be involved.
A new website – www.darwendeal.co.uk – has now launched and provides more information about the deal, the board, how the money can be spent and will be used to publicise engagement events.
Darwen’s MP, Jake Berry said:
I’ve said from the very beginning that this is a once in a generation chance to make a real difference to our town and the Darwen Town Deal Board has grasped that with both hands.
Securing this £750,000 Government funding is just the first step and I’m delighted that the full amount has been awarded for these worthwhile projects.
Whenever I meet with residents, the Tower is always highlighted as a priority as well as more opportunities for our youngsters in the town.
As a board, we are offering our skills, experience and local knowledge to do the very best we can for the residents of this town and the hard work will continue as we develop our bid.