Council welcomes £21m Blyth funding boost
15 Jul 2021
The County Council has warmly welcomed the Government announcement that almost £21m has been awarded to Blyth from the national Towns Fund.
Today’s award of £20.9m follows the council's submission in January 2021 of its Town Deal proposals for Blyth.
The funding will contribute to the delivery of the £70m Energising Blyth programme of major initiatives to help the town to grow, improve and renew over the next five years.
The vision is that by 2030, Blyth will be a thriving UK and international centre of renewable energy and advanced manufacturing growth and innovation, providing new jobs, better skills, more homes, and a clean environment for people in the town and the wider North East region.
Over the past year, considerable work has been undertaken, led by the Blyth Town Deal Board, bringing together private, public and community organisations in the town. The Board has engaged widely with the community to develop the Town Investment Plan and the suite of projects for submission to the Government.
The announcement means that project delivery will begin in 2022 adding to the regeneration of the town centre. This is subject to the completion of the final business case development stage for the projects in the Blyth Town Deal.
Today’s announcement bolsters the work already underway to regenerate the town including the £1.3m Northern Gateway phase 1, delivering improvements to Bowes Street, Wanley Street and Church Street.
The recently announced £11.12m Future High Streets Fund programme will follow with major investment over the next three years, including new culture, leisure, education, cycling and walking initiatives.
The Town Deal will deliver projects including; improvements to major employment sites, additional town centre regeneration, new innovation and learning facilities, high quality new homes, cycling and walking improvements and support to deliver a major cultural programme of events and activities.
Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet Member for Business, said “This is brilliant news for the town.
“The funding awarded to Blyth from the Towns Fund is almost £33m across Future High Streets Fund, Accelerated Towns Fund and the Town Deal.
“This will enable us to deliver the £70m Energising Blyth Programme combined with support from the County Council and our partners to have a transformational impact on the town.
The mix of projects will improve both economic sustainability and the town centre environment. The key objectives are to encourage more residents, visitors and businesses to use the town centre, develop the skills of local people and attract industry investment and jobs.
“This huge investment and joint commitment will help us to boost the town’s burgeoning international reputation in offshore wind and clean energy and make a real difference to the community of Blyth.”
“Thanks must go to our partners and the local community for all their effort and enthusiasm in supporting the bid we submitted. Along with other funding recently announced there’s a lot happening in Blyth which will now bring new jobs, economic growth, new housing and travel improvements to the town.
We will be working closely with all our partners and engaging the community and local businesses as this major programme develops.”
Alan Ferguson OBE, Chair of the Blyth Town Deal Board, said "The Board is delighted to receive this excellent news confirming the government’s support for our plans.
“This will bolster all our work to support the town’s future growth and recovery following the Covid 19 pandemic. We have worked closely as a board and with the wider community and stakeholders to ensure that this plan truly reflects the needs of the town. There are exciting times ahead for Blyth as we move forward together to realise our vision for the town."