This Government is dedicated to levelling up to ensure that all corners of the UK benefit from growth and prosperity now that we have left the European Union and make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. We are committed to improving the prospects of communities in former industrial and mining towns and villages across England. All have distinct competitive advantages that will be essential to shaping our economic future.
This Government has provided funding to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) which seeks to support mining communities in England. Over the last seven years, the Government has provided £22 million in support of their activities, which are designed to assist the CRT in becoming a self-sustaining organisation. The Government also announced in the 2018 autumn budget that we would invest £8 million to support repairs to village halls, Miners’ Welfare facilities and Armed Forces organisations’ facilities.
The Government has also provided a package of support for regeneration in areas affected by steelworks closures. In January this year, the Government announced £71 million of new funding towards ambitious local plans to turn the former site of the SSI Steelworks in Redcar into a huge business zone, home to world-leading clean energy, manufacturing and tech companies.
The £3.6 billion Towns Fund is also delivering dedicated funding for our towns. Through these Town Deals, an initial 101 towns across England will benefit from investment worth up to £25 million, or more in exceptional cases. Over half of these places are former industrial or mining towns. Funding from the Towns Fund will drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth. The former mining town of Stainforth is one of 101 towns selected to benefit from this investment. Stainforth has just received an initial payment of £500,000 which will help improve the town’s parks and green spaces, including new walking and cycling facilities and play areas.
Looking to the future, the Government is also committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will bind together the whole of the United Kingdom, tackling inequality and deprivation in each of our four nations. It will replace the overly bureaucratic EU Structural Funds – and not only be better targeted at the UK’s specific needs, but at a minimum match the size of those funds in each nation. It will be driven by domestic priorities with a focus on investing in people. Further details on the design and operation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be announced following the cross-government Spending Review.