MP welcomes £20m cash boost from Prime Minister to make changes to Wigan borough town
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced it was among 55 “overlooked” towns around the country which would receive the cash over 10 years to carry out a host of improvements.
He said the new long-term vision for towns, backed by £1 billion of investment, was about putting “funding in the hands of local people” to improve their communities.
The cash boost has been welcomed by Leigh’s Conservative MP James Grundy, who will be involved in deciding how it is spent.
He said: “I am delighted at the announcement that the Government has awarded an additional £20m of funding for the Leigh constituency as part of the Conservative long-term plan for towns. I also welcome that we will be one of the first towns in the country to benefit from this new funding and I'm very proud to have helped secure this desperately needed money for our community.
“This funding can be used to cover such areas as high street and heritage regeneration, transport improvements and public safety improvements.
“This funding will be allocated by a board which will include representatives such as myself as local MP, a representative of Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, as well as local business and other interests with a stake in the future success of our town. Whilst the formal mechanism for appointing the board has not yet been published, I hope we can put together a very strong team to help deliver on the priorities important to local residents."
Ministers have promised central government support for the town boards as they formulate their vision.
A towns taskforce, sitting in the Department for Levelling Up and reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, will help them develop their plans and advise on how best to take advantage of government policies, unlock private and philanthropic investment and work with communities.
The Government said towns had been allocated funding according to the Levelling Up Needs Index, taking into account metrics covering skills, pay, productivity and health, as well as the Index of Multiple Deprivation, to ensure funding goes directly to the towns which will benefit most.