As well as all the fantastic Levelling Up funding we've had so far for capital projects, last week Government announced some longer-term support to help us deliver for Mansfield, and it’s more amazing news for our town!
On top of our current £20m Levelling Up Fund grant, our £12m Towns Fund, and the £20m Levelling Up Partnership where we're still finalising plans with Government, we've now secured a further £20m for our high street!
I'm not convinced Mansfield has EVER had this much direct support from central Government. It really is fantastic news and takes us over the £72m mark in terms of direct Levelling Up funds in this Parliament.
It also means that since I was elected as Mansfield’s MP in 2017, our town has been pledged over £150 million of investment with both Levelling Up funding and Severn Trent’s £76 million investment into flood alleviation - with ‘rain gardens’ being installed across the town.
Whilst the Severn Trent investment is underway, most notably in our town centre, we’re also finally seeing spades in the ground with the first £12 million of our Levelling Up funding, in the form of the Towns Fund, with the new Warsop Health Hub that’s replaced Meden Sports Centre.
This most recent £20 million boost is part of a £1 billion investment into high streets across the country, aiming to support the investment already promised for places like the old Beales building and Stockwell Gate.
Under the new long-term Plan for Towns, communities will be empowered to take back control of their future by placing long-term decisions in the hands of local people.
The money comes in an endowment-style fund and will be delivered over 10 years to ensure that we have the financial clout to push ahead with Levelling Up plans and hopefully see spades in the ground sooner.
This money will allow local Town Boards, made up of key stakeholders like community leaders, employers, local authorities and more to deliver the long-term plan for their area and put it to the people of Mansfield for consultation.
These town boards will also have regeneration powers to unlock further private investment by auctioning empty shops and reforming licensing laws on shops and restaurants.
This really could be the final piece in the puzzle to deliver massive, long-term, regenerative change for the town centre.
It's important that it's used to deliver positive outcomes where they're most needed, and not just taken by Mansfield District Council to sort out their financial problems.
So I'll be seeking to ensure that it's managed properly in the coming years as we move into a delivery phase for all this investment.
I’m confident that in the years to come our town will become an even better place to live and to visit, and I’m over-joyed the Government continues to have faith in our potential.