Charnwood Borough Council has been awarded £162,000 to kick-start a bid for up to £25 million of investment in Loughborough.
The town is one of 100 places around the country which the government has invited to bid for a multi-million pound Town Deal. The deals aim to regenerate town centres, boost businesses and improve infrastructure.
The towns are sharing £16.4million to develop their plans and bring their communities together.
Cllr Jonathan Morgan, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “I welcome this initial funding and it will help us build a strong case as we aim to secure every single penny of the £25 million available.
“The government is clear that communities need to be involved in Town Deals and I can assure people that the Council will be engaging with residents, partners, businesses and other organisations.
“It is important we come together to create a shared vision and capitalise on this fantastic opportunity.”
The government has produced a Towns Fund prospectus which provides information to councils chosen to pioneer Town Deals.
Each place will have the opportunity to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
The funding could be used to redevelop vacant buildings and land, drive private sector investment by supporting small businesses and ensure young people have the skills they need to get good jobs. Communities will also be able to consider how they can boost their transport links and increase access to high-speed broadband.
Lead councils in each place will now bring together a Town Deal Board including representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop bespoke Town Investment Plans by summer 2020.
These plans will provide a clear vision for building on their town’s unique strengths to transform its economic growth prospects and form the basis of negotiations with the government.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “This government is committed to levelling up all parts of the country. We created the £3.6bn Towns Fund to help businesses grow, connect communities and give people the skills they need to succeed.
“But no place is exactly the same. That is why we want to help local people to decide how this investment of up to £25 million in each town can be used to help create new businesses, new jobs and new homes for generations to come.”
The announcement follows the launch of the My Town campaign, giving local people the chance to share what they love about their town and how they want to see it grow. In just one week, the campaign has drawn over 10,000 responses from across the country.
Charnwood Borough Council is encouraging people to get involved in the campaign by visiting www.Facebook.com/mytowncampaign and have a say.