Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has welcomed the progress being made with the town’s £20 million Town Deal. The money has been awarded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities who in September announced town deals for 55 towns totalling £1.1 billion.
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 £20 million comes in an endowment-style fund and will be delivered over 10 years.
On Friday, the Government revealed more about how this deal works, including £50,000 of initial funding for Mansfield District Council to establish a ‘Town Board’ who will oversee planning and implementation of this funding.
Once established by April 2024, Mansfield’s Town Board will be headed by an independent chairman and made up of key stakeholders like Mr Bradley as Mansfield’s MP, along side community leaders, local Councillors, and employers.
Once the board is in place, they will prepare an investment plan which will be submitted to Government by August.
Town boards will also have a suite of regeneration powers to unlock further private investment by auctioning empty shops and reforming licensing laws on shops and restaurants.
This announcement follows previous Levelling Up funding that Ben Bradley has helped to secure for Mansfield, such as the £20 million for the redevelopment of Beales and Mansfield town centre, £20 million in the form of a Levelling Up partnership with Government, and £12 million from the Government’s Towns Fund for projects like the new Warsop Leisure Hub.
Ben has also been instrumental in securing other funding for landmark projects in Mansfield, such as the £76 million investment from Severn Trent into flood prevention in the town. This investment will transform Mansfield, protecting the area from flooding by installing about 15,000 green flood interventions across Mansfield and Warsop.
Commenting, Ben Bradley stated:
“It’s amazing news that Mansfield has been awarded another £20 million in Town Deal money and it’s fantastic to see more details released on how decisions will be made and when we’ll start to see investment taking place.
“In the last year Mansfield has been awarded over £72 million from just the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities alone. When combined with the funds we have secured elsewhere, this means that since I was elected in 2017 we have secured around £150 million in funding for Mansfield and Warsop. Our area has just never had that kind of investment from central Government, and it gives us loads of opportunity to do things.
“I look forward to working with the government and all local stakeholders to utilise this new money and drive forward Mansfield’s Levelling Up. 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. I'll be seeking to ensure that it's managed properly.”
Commenting, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said:
"Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work. But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.
"The result is the half-empty high streets, run-down shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity – and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.
"That changes today. Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up."
Notes to editors:
- You can find the full details of the Long Term Plan for Towns here.