What is the Town Fund?
The Town Fund is a new funding scheme launched by the government for towns like Redditch to improve their economy. More information about the scheme can be found in the Town Fund Prospectus published in November 2019.
The government invited 101 towns to develop proposals for a Town Deal, as part of the £3.6 billion Fund. Redditch is one of the towns across the country eligible to bid for up to £25m for the Town Fund. The Town Deal will cover the whole of the Redditch borough.
We have also been awarded £173,029 from the government to support developing the bid for this funding. Through this process we will have to say which projects will be identified, what funding is required; and how these projects fit with the wider, longer term plan for our continued regeneration.
We need to bring forward firm proposals developed in close working relationship with our community, partners, private and public investors.
What is the Redditch Town Deal?
The council will be using the initial funding award to develop a Town Investment Plan and then agree a Town Deal with the government by the end of January 2021.
The funding will be used to engage with our communities and partners to develop the deal and prepare a joint bid for this funding. There will also be the scope to argue for additional funding which may come from other sources or branches of government and private investment, to support the implementation of a Town Deal. It offers an opportunity for Redditch to address many of the remaining social and economic challenges in the town as a whole.
How will we develop the plans for the deal?
The council has established a 'Town Deal Board' in accordance with the guidance detailed in the Town Fund prospectus. It includes local businesses, community representatives, council officers and other partners committed to improving the town. The Board will oversee the development of the Town Investment Plan together with the council as lead partner.
What is the objective?
The investment plan will represent our future vision and ambition for Redditch, and will help us towards taking steps to achieve many of our objectives. It will be our prospectus for the future, showing both public and private funders and investors that we are open for business.
The objective will be to use the funding to provide jobs, homes, skills and take actions to reduce our carbon emissions, benefitting residents across the whole town.
You can find out more about the Town Deal on the government's website
- Run regular Town Deal Board meetings and use it as the vehicle through which the vision and strategy for the town is defined
- To produce and complete an evidence-based Town Investment Plan by the end of January 2021
- To engage with the community and stakeholders to help define the vision and strategy for the investment plan
Questions & Answers
What is a 'Town Deal?
The Town Fund is the name of the funding the government has launched to support towns like Redditch to improve their economy. To find out more, read the Town Fund Prospectus
Will Redditch and the other 100 towns automatically get up to £25m?
No, we will have to work with partners and the community over the next year to put together a strong investment plan and business case that the government will then need to approve.
Have you already decided what you are going to spend the £25m on?
No, the council will establish a ‘Town Deal Board', which will include members from the local community, businesses, and other partners committed to improving Redditch.
The board will develop the investment plan. This plan will focus on the three key themes set out by the government for the fund:
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use
- Skills and enterprise infrastructure
- Connectivity – transport (roads, buses, cycling, walking) and digital connectivity like broadband
What is the role of the council?
The council's primary role will be working with its community and partners to develop and agree the Town Deal with the government.
Further development and implementation may be carried out by a variety of organisations but Redditch Borough Council will be the responsible body for the funds to the government.
What is the role of the Town Deal board?
The Board will be the vehicle through which the vision and strategy for the town is defined. The board will include members from the local community, businesses, and other partners committed to improving Redditch.
Its key tasks will be:
- Develop and agree an evidenced based Town Investment Plan
- Develop a clear programme of interventions
- Coordinate resources and influence stakeholders.
Have you been given any funding to do the initial work?
Yes, the council has received £173,029 'capacity funding' to prepare for the town deal and to deliver the following:
- Convene Town Deal Board
- Run business and wider community engagement events
- Develop Town Investment Plans
- Commission technical expertise for business case development.
How will local people be involved?
We have set up the Town Deal Board; this includes members from the local community, business, and other partners committed to improving Redditch.
We will develop a plan on how to involve local people further in the coming months, once we have received further information from government.
What we can say is that we will design a programme, through which we will ensure we hear directly from our communities with regards to their regeneration priorities.
The board, agendas and minutes
For further information or questions concerning the Town Deal please contact Lyndsey Berry