THE newly elected chair of Cleator Moor’s Town Deal Board has confirmed all five of its transformational projects are to move forward to the next stage in the formal process.
Working with Copeland Borough Council, the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board secured an offer of £22.5 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund initiative this summer for the schemes which are set to ensure the town and its communities thrive now and into the future.
Detailed business cases will be developed around each of the projects over the next ten months as part of the route towards unlocking the promised cash from the Government.
At the helm of the Cleator Moor Town Board is newly elected chair, Bob Metcalfe.
A Chartered Town Planner and economist, Bob has a background in master planning and regeneration both in the UK and abroad. He has been the chair of the Phoenix Enterprise Centre in Cleator Moor for 18 years having served as a director for two decades.
“Securing an offer of funding for major regeneration projects on this scale is a fantastic achievement for the Town Deal Board and Copeland Borough Council, but the process is most definitely a marathon, not a sprint,” Bob said.
“There’s no doubt however that we are now well on the way towards the point of being able to draw down this money from Government so that these fantastic projects can be brought to life.
“The Town Deal funding is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a real and lasting difference to Cleator Moor and I’m proud to be playing a part in the process.”
Bob added: “I would like to place on record my thanks to Kayleigh Daniels, the former chair of the board, for her excellent work as we developed the Town Investment Plan for submission to Government and successfully secured the offer of funding.”
The five Cleator Moor Town Deal projects are:
Enterprising Town – a project to develop an enterprise campus on the Leconfield Industrial Estate aimed at leveraging the economic growth potential of the Sellafield supply chain through a cluster approach to growing and diversifying the West Cumbria economy.
Revitalised Town – to increase activity and footfall around the Town Square by bringing vacant and under-utilised buildings back into active use while creating an attractive new public realm. Uses will include a new cultural community hub and enhanced business space.
Campus Town – a scheme to provide flexible, fit for purpose student accommodation to facilitate planned growth at the University of Central Lancashire’s Westlakes Campus using vacant or derelict sites in Cleator Moor. This will support vitality and footfall in the town centre.
Healthy Town – enhancing existing sports and leisure provision as well as providing a modern multi-purpose centre including an indoor sports hall, flexible studio space, gym and café, alongside wider health and well-being provision and targeted youth activity. This will improve population health and generate more reasons for people to visit and spend time in Cleator Moor.
Connected Town – this scheme will deliver a high-quality integrated and sustainable transport network which improves connections between employment, education, amenities and leisure and transforms the accessibility and attractiveness of Cleator Moor.
The five projects are set out in Cleator Moor’s Town Investment Plan. They aim to help maximise inclusive economic growth and better connectivity for the area while developing a welcoming arts, culture and tourism offer, thriving independent businesses and healthy, active people.
The Heads of Terms – an agreement confirming the Government’s financial offer in principle – was signed this summer.
Each business case must now demonstrate the development, cost and scope of each project.
The completed cases will be subject to a rigorous assurance process next year before high level summaries are submitted back to the Government for approval.
Mike Starkie, the Mayor of Copeland, said: “Being able to take all five projects to the next stage in the Towns Deal process is excellent news. Each one has the potential to deliver huge benefits and opportunities for our communities in terms of improved health and wellbeing, a prosperous, resilient economy and new jobs.
“Securing the offer of funding from Government was a significant first step. The hard work continues now to develop the case for each project by June next year.”
For more information on the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board, visit Towns Fund | Copeland Borough Council