Published: Mon 5th February, 2024
Millions of pounds have already been invested into the area thanks to Loughborough Town Deal and more developments are on the way.
The Town Deal is backing 11 projects with several already being completed or progressing well and 2024 looks set to be another big year.
The Town Deal secured £16.9 million from the Government’s Towns Fund to support the projects and in total, they are worth more than £40 million of investment.
Those already completed include a new Careers and Enterprise Hub in the town centre, the regeneration of the Bedford Square area, the creation of SportPark Pavilion 4 at Loughborough University and the upgrade of two kilometres of canal towpath through the heart of the town.
The Living Loughborough project has also expanded free wi-fi in the town centre, created an augmented reality heritage trail and helped introduce free business support for local businesses. More elements of this scheme are being developed.
In total, the investment for these projects is around £14 million.
And other projects also well underway include work to save the last major Bell Foundry in Britain – John Taylor & Co. The scheme, which is also being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is due for completion later this year.
Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL, Loughborough Town Deal chair, said: “I am delighted to see the progress that the Town Deal projects are making on the ground – projects which began as ideas for regeneration and improvements, over four years ago.
“The total investment now being made is simply huge for Loughborough, its residents, and visitors to the town. It will help support the people of Loughborough for many years to come with new facilities, skills, jobs and an improved environment.”
Dr Kotecha, whose tenure as chair of the Town Deal Board has come to an end, added: “I am proud of what our Town Deal has achieved so far and proud to have played a role in supporting the programme and projects through to this delivery stage.
“We have faced and overcome a range of challenges, including right from the very beginning when we put together our investment plan with partners and local businesses – just as the pandemic hit.
“However, we went on to secure £16.9 million from the Government to back our 11 projects. Today, work is well advanced, collaborating with many tremendous partners who have co-invested and have led - or are leading - the delivery of these exciting projects. Without the commitment shown by our partners, the programme just wouldn’t have been possible.
“I am really pleased that some key projects have already been completed and will make a lasting difference for Loughborough.
“I’m excited to see the successful completion of all projects within the Town Deal, and I would like to wish everyone who has supported the Town Deal over the past few years the best, in particular my fellow board members who have been instrumental in driving this forward.
“The Town Deal will not only leave a legacy in terms of its projects but also in how it has brought people, organisations and businesses together for the benefit of the area.”
Dr Kotecha was appointed co-chair of the board in 2020 alongside Cllr Jonathan Morgan, the former Leader of Charnwood Borough Council. Dr Kotecha has been chair since last year.
A new chair will be appointed shortly.
The other Town Deal projects which are still being progressed include the Lanes and Links scheme which will better link the town centre and Queen’s Park and see the creation of a Covid memorial; the creation of a Digital Skills Hub at Loughborough College; the creation of the Generator which will see a derelict building converted into a creative arts and culture hub; support for Great Central Railway; and support for a flood scheme for Loughborough’s Wood Brook.
To find out more about the Loughborough Town Deal projects, visit: www.loughboroughtowndeal.co.uk
The Town Deal Board involves representatives from 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.