James has welcomed the inclusion of Rowley Regis in the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund, which has been launched to support regeneration and growth projects in response to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. The funding will help kick start projects already in the pipeline, as part of an overall £25m that Rowley Regis will benefit from.
Over 100 places across England have been chosen to benefit from the initial £80m tranche of funding with a ‘Town Deal’, which have been launched to improve areas in ways such as upgrading transport or digital infrastructure, or improving high streets. Proposals are already under way to use the £750,000 investment for the redevelopment of Blackheath Town Centre, with the creation of a new bus interchange and social space to improve pedestrian mobility. Britannia Park will also benefit from investment, with new changing rooms, improvements to the park entrances, walkways and cycle routes, and better lighting and security.
Cradley Heath is also set to benefit, with plans in place for a new Education & Skills Centre in Cradley Heath to provide training to 16-year-olds and unemployed adults. There will also be a new Energy Efficiency Scheme that will see air source heat pumps installed at Addenbrooke Court and Wesley Court to improve fuel efficiency and reduce fuel poverty, the first of its kind in Sandwell.
Town Deals build directly on the Government’s commitment to decentralising funding and decisions away from Whitehall and investing in the growth of local economies, giving local leaders and communities more say over their futures.
“This £750,000 investment will make a great difference for Rowley Regis." said James. "It will help to boost economic growth in Blackheath, making it a more attractive place to live, work and shop, whilst Britannia Park will become an even better facility to relax or exercise.
“I also welcome the investment for energy efficiency at Addenbrooke Court and Wesley Court, which will be a great benefit for the residents. I’ll continue to work closely with local leaders and the Government to ensure this funding is spent wisely to ensure that local people get the maximum possible benefit."
In June, the Government announced that this initial tranche of funding from the overall Towns Fund would be brought forward and shared out to get projects off the ground and give local areas a boost as they build back better from coronavirus. In total, in his ‘New Deal’ for Britain, the Prime Minister has announced £5 billion of projects that would be accelerated in order to deliver jobs, skills and new infrastructure to every corner of the country, spurring the nation’s economic recovery in this unprecedented time.