Towns invited to bid for connectivity boost

The government has invited 100 places across England to develop proposals to get resources from the £3.6bn Towns Fund, which will see improvements in connectivity as a key priority.

Aimed at creating local jobs and economic growth and promoting regeneration, the Towns Fund was announced by prime minister Boris Johnson in July 2019.

The list of places that are eligible for the programme, which will provide up to £25m for each town, includes 45 locations in the north of England and 30 in the Midlands.

Towns including Blackpool, Colchester, Loughborough, Milton Keynes, Wolverhampton, Scarborough, Northampton, Doncaster and St Ives in Cornwall are all included in the initial group of places that can submit proposals.

A prospectus will soon be published to guide towns through the process and set eligibility criteria for funding.

Enhanced connectivity pledges made by the PM in July to support the Town Deals include an increased investment in fibre roll-out – this, Johnson said, builds on the development of a fibre cable between Manchester and York alongside the Trans-Pennine railway route.

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