Leigh to get millions towards town centre regeneration project
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Improvements across the historic heart of its town centre, creating flexible and active spaces to promote cultural and community events and better connections across the town are in the works.
Plans also includes work on Leigh Civic Square and the regeneration of high street shop fronts on the main high street (Bradshawgate) in addition to the Leigh Market overhaul.
Developments submitted by Wigan Council would see the town’s Civic Square spruced up with walkways, nature trails and social hubs.
It comes after Leigh was handed a £11.4m share of the Levelling Up Fund will help boost several improvements across the historic heart of the town centre.
Currently there is no timescale for when works will begin on the regeneration project.
This news comes on top of another cash injection for Leigh last month where £20m was promised over a 10-year period to help regenerate high streets and tackle anti-social behaviour. That announcement formed part of Town Deal funding – a separate pot of money.
James Grundy, Leigh MP, said: “While I am delighted to hear that the Government have awarded £11,389,554 of the Levelling Up Fund to Leigh, I am disappointed that a third round of bidding has not gone ahead to allow the case to be made to resubmit an updated bid for the full £20m available.
“I welcome, however, that the fund has been successful this year and that should the council confirm that the proposals in the bid are still deliverable, Leigh will benefit from the Levelling Up Fund.”
The bid for Leigh was unsuccessful back in January and Wigan Council blamed the Leigh MP for not backing the plan – which Mr Grundy believed did not go far enough.
This means that all three of Wigan’s original bids have now been successful after Ashton-in-Makerfield received £6.6m for their town centre regeneration and Wigan’s Haigh Hall was granted £20m in order to rejuvenate the site and “bring it back to its former glory,”
Ashton’s £7.2m bid was unsuccessful back in January, like Leigh, but was given government cash in March. Now the £11.4m for Leigh completes the set.
Coun David Molyneux MBE, Leader of Wigan Council, said: “We have always had confidence in our submission for Leigh town centre and, while we were extremely disappointed to miss out earlier this year, we’re pleased the government has now recognised the value of this investment in our community.
“This funding will accelerate our bold and ambitious plans for Leigh, as set out in our Strategic Regeneration Framework which was informed by extensive consultation with local people.
“Our aim is to create a vibrant town centre, one that preserves our town’s proud past and embraces the opportunities of the future, bringing major benefits for residents and our valued local businesses.”
The council leader added that they are awaiting further detail on what this means for the government’s recent announcement about planned investment as part of its long-term plan for towns. As part of this latest round of Levelling Up, areas spread across all corners of Great Britain received a cash injection, with the North West receiving £128m, the North East £59m, Yorkshire and the Humber £169m and the Midlands £171m in total.