A bid for £32 million pounds of funding to transform Loughborough has been submitted to the government.
Charnwood Borough Council, Loughborough University, Leicestershire County Council and others have collectively formed the ‘Loughborough Town Deal Board’, which has drawn up proposals for a range of projects that aim to improve skills and job prospects, redefine the town centre, improve the local environment and showcase the town’s heritage.
The project aims to “change how the town looks and functions” and “transform Loughborough for the better over the coming years.”
Central to the bid is Loughborough University’s “global reputation for sport and innovation”.
Professor Tracy Bhamra, Loughborough University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise), saying that “The Town Deal represents a really exciting opportunity to enhance the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Loughborough and the University is looking forward to working with local partners to drive local growth and regeneration.”
What projects are being funded?
- Transport & Digital Infrastructure – £3.6m to improve the route between the East side of town through to the University, and invest in electric vehicles and charging points.
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use – £14.6m to redevelop sites in town which can be developed for housing, commercial and leisure, and improve the Town Centre.
- Arts, Culture and Heritage – £3.6m for Taylor’s Bell Foundry and Great Central Railway, regeneration of the canal and a new hub for creative enterprise.
- Skills & Employability – £3.8m to create a new Careers and Enterprise Hub, a Digital Skills Hub, and improvements to the job and life skills for 5,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities.
- Enterprise – £1.8m for an expansion of Loughborough University Sportpark, and to support a business accelerator scheme to help local companies link in with the University.
- Microprojects – £1.1m on a Community and Business Capital Grants Scheme to help businesses and community groups to access capital funding for micro or small projects.
- Foundation and cross-cutting interventions – £3.2m to establish Loughborough University as an Anchor Institution for the area and its knowledge, with its skills and capabilities harnessed to bring about social, economic and environmental improvements to the town, and a new flood defence scheme
Cllr Jonathan Morgan, leader of Charnwood Borough Council said that he was “incredibly excited to launch the Loughborough Town Deal bid”, with the timing great due to the significant challenges with COVID-19.
“We need to make sure we build back better and create opportunities for young people and businesses and build on the wonderful assets we already have like the university and college, the town’s heritage and Loughborough’s ideal central location”, he added.
The Bid has been submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and a decision is expected to be made by the department in 2021.