Thursday, March 16, 2023

News: Budget brings surprise £20m for Rotherham regeneration


The government has announced that Rotherham will receive £20m for regeneration in The Budget. It comes after earlier bids for funding for the schemes were turned down twice.

Rotherham Council has previously been successful in securing almost £40m from the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) to help improve the Leisure Economy and Skills in the borough and Rotherham Town Centre but its Dinnington and Wath bid was not selected in either pervious rounds of the Government's £4.8 billion competitive fund that is being invested in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK.

But now Budget documents explain: "The Budget also announces over £200 million for 16 regeneration projects in England. These projects have been assessed as high quality and will commence delivery later this year. Investment has been targeted towards the left-behind places in the Levelling Up White Paper or projects that are under £10 million to ensure quick delivery and a good spread of funding across England."

£19,990,111.00 is being awarded for the "Principal Areas of Growth" bid with the Government saying that they would focus only on bids from England and from the ‘regeneration and town centre’ theme because funding is coming from DLUHC budgets rather than cross-departmental LUF budgets.

The Rotherham bid was around creating a new mixed-use development in Wath town centre, as well as delivering significant improvements to Dinnington High Street and market.

Alex Stafford, MP for Rother Valley, said that £12m would be heading to Dinnington and that provisional work will include clearing the burnt-out buildings, investment in the outdoor market and the creation of a new commercial square with the aim to enhance the shop and food offer in the town and improve public realm and connectivity.

The MP said: "I have been campaigning to revitalise Dinnington High Street since before I was elected, and it is great to see that after decades of neglect, Dinnington will get the money it needs and deserves.

"Following the failure of the Levelling Up Fund bid, I made it my mission to go directly to those who control the levers of power and make the case, and I am so pleased that this campaign has worked.

"I have raised the rejuvenation of Dinnington High Street over 40 times in Parliament, organised a parliamentary petition signed by more than 2,000 residents, and even held a dedicated debate in Parliament to fight the case for our town. I have even brought the Prime Minister himself to Rother Valley.

"Special thanks to all those who made this possible including the Dinnington St John's Town Council, the Dinnington Land Trust and Dinnington Ward Councillors who have also been working tirelessly for our area.

"This announcement today proves that funding is available for "shovel-ready" projects across Rother Valley and South Yorkshire. Rotherham council must ensure that a vision and plans are in place for all our communities so that they can take advantage of the opportunities to receive the funding needed to revitalise their areas."

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council said: "The surprise announcement in the budget today that the government has decided to fully fund our Levelling Up Fund bid for Wath and Dinnington is great news. It means that we have been successful with all three of the bids that the Council put forward, and it is a welcome change of plan after the recent announcement that the Government would not consider it.

"I’m glad that suggestions the bid was somehow faulty have been corrected today, recognising the huge amount of effort and expertise that went into their preparation. Residents in both communities will rightly be looking forward to seeing these investments realised; improvements to Dinnington markets and the surrounding area as well as a new library in Wath.”

John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne confirmed funding for Wath. He said: "This makes good on the mistake Ministers made before when they ruled out good bids like ours because Rotherham had a successful round one bid before.

"The application process has been massively frustrating for the public and local businesses that were involved in the consultation on the bids and Rotherham Council’s team who worked so hard to prepare it.

"For the last 13 years the Conservatives have stripped money from our local services and left us to battle it out for the scraps with other areas.We need an end to this type of contest where communities are made to bid to Ministers in Whitehall."

Images: AECOM / Google Maps


Anonymous,  March 22, 2023 at 7:45 AM  

"Shovel ready"? Seriously?

Anonymous,  March 27, 2023 at 9:05 AM  

Just a misprint - should have said "hovel ready".

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