Business leaders receive progress report on £40m Loughborough Town Deal

Published: Fri 1st March, 2024

  • Town Deal Vice-Chair Andy Reed speaks to guests at the Delivering the Deal event on March 1

Business leaders gathered to find out more about the multi-million investment being delivered through Loughborough Town Deal.

Around 90 guests attended a business briefing to hear about the progress of the 11 projects worth over £40 million of investment which are being supported by the Town Deal.

Andy Reed OBE, vice-chair of the Town Deal Board, told guests the projects were designed to boost skills, regenerate the town, and support the local visitor economy.

He said: “It was great to share the Town Deal story with so many people at the briefing.

“It’s been a huge undertaking and a tremendous cross-sector effort to get to this stage and I would like to thank all the projects for their tremendous work.

“So much has already been completed, with investment of around £14 million delivered through several projects, but there is much more on the way.”Guests at the Delivering the Deal event

Speaking during the event at SportPark Pavilion 4, Mr Reed thanked former Loughborough Town Deal Board chairs Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL and Jonathan Morgan for their work.

He also acknowledged the Town Deal team, both board members and officers for their dedication in securing the £16.9 million from the Government’s Towns Fund and working with partners to turn that into action.

And Mr Reed urged continuing partnership with local businesses, community groups and residents to encourage further work to develop the town.

“Put simply, Loughborough and Charnwood are great places to do business and live,” he told guests during Friday’s event.

Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business Kevin Hollinrake also joined the briefing virtually to speak to guests about his experience of starting his own business before moving into politics and what the Government was doing to support businesses.Dr Chrissie Van Mierlo, from the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, speaks to guests at the Delivering the Deal event

Guests also heard from Town Deal Board Member, Professor Chris Rielly, of Loughborough University, on the ongoing Healthy and Innovative Loughborough project. That includes Sport Park Pavilion 4 - the extension to the sports cluster on the university campus which was officially opened in October. It also supports business innovation, is empowering local people to develop healthier lifestyles and also looking to improve transport connectivity in town. An Impact Hub will also analyse the town's health to plan for future improvements.

Meanwhile, Dr Chrissie Van Mierlo, Museum Director at Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust, updated guests on what’s been happening with the project to preserve its historic site. The Trust has successfully secured more than £5 million to support the restoration of the historic Grade II* Taylor's Bell Foundry, of which £835,000 comes from Town Deal.

Other completed projects include a new Careers and Enterprise Hub in the town centre, the regeneration of the Bedford Square area and the upgrade of two kilometres of canal towpath through the heart of the town.

The Living Loughborough project to make the town centre a more attractive and secure place has implemented several elements of its initiative, including the expansion of free wi-fi in the town centre, the creation of an augmented reality heritage trail and the introduction of free business support for local businesses.Prof Chris Rielly speaks to guests at the Delivering the Deal event

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.

The projects are being delivered by Loughborough University, Loughborough College, Charnwood Borough Council, Love Loughborough, the Canal & River Trust, The Generator, Great Central Railway and Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust.