Time is running out to have a say on a draft plan which will shape the future of Loughborough.
The Loughborough Town Deal is aiming to secure up to £25 million of government funding to transform the town and a consultation on a draft investment plan ends at midnight on Sunday, July 5.
The project is being led by the Loughborough Town Deal board involving a range of organisations, including Charnwood Borough Council, Loughborough University, Loughborough College, Love Loughborough, Leicestershire County Council, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Charnwood Together Economy and Skills Group, local businesses and Loughborough MP Jane Hunt.
The draft investment plan outlines four areas of focus:
- Physical regeneration and how Loughborough functions as a place
- Equipping people, communities and businesses for the future
- A smart, green Loughborough
- Loughborough – ‘innovation city’, global national and regional destination
The Town Deal Board is now also appealing for project ideas to be submitted to be considered for inclusion of the bid. Some projects have already been identified, but more are welcome.
Charnwood Borough Council Leader, Cllr Jonathan Morgan, and Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, chief executive officer of Morningside Pharmaceuticals based in the town, are co-chairs of the board.
Cllr Morgan said: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic we are having to hold an accelerated phase of consultation phase as we believe it is in the best interests of the project, and the town, to be among the first wave of bids for government funding.
“The draft investment plan sets out an exciting vision for the future of Loughborough as we look to make the town better for everyone.
“This phase of consultation ends shortly so I would urge people and businesses to have a say. As well as our online survey we have held several focus groups and community engagement meetings.
“I would also encourage projects to be submitted for consideration.”
Dr Kotecha said: “The Town Deal is an exciting opportunity for residents and businesses so please have a say and help shape our bid for this critical funding. It will be more important than ever as we recover socially and economically from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Loughborough has the potential to be a centre of excellence in a range of areas, including innovation and sport, and our location in the heart of the country makes Loughborough attractive to both people and businesses.
“The Town Deal could act as a catalyst for significant and positive change in Loughborough.”
The consultation on the draft investment plan ends at midnight on Sunday July 4, to have a say on the consultation, please visit www.loughboroughtowndeal.co.uk/consultation
To be included in the final investment plan, projects will need some level of detail which demonstrate to the Loughborough Town Deal Board and to Government that they are well aligned with the Government guidance investment criteria and can be delivered to a full investment-ready business case in the next six to 12 months.
While the initial focus is on more advanced projects, the Loughborough Town Deal Board does also still want to hear about ideas which are in the early stages.
More detail is contained in the Loughborough Town Deal Project Submission Form on the Town Deal website.
To download the form, please visit www.loughboroughtowndeal.co.uk/reports
Project ideas must be submitted by July 10. They can be submitted by any individual, business or organisation.
Loughborough is one of 100 places across the country which have been offered the chance to bid for Town Deal funding to regenerate town centres, boost businesses and improve infrastructure and connectivity.