Hereford receives £22.4m to transform our city
Hereford has been successful in its bid for funding from the Government’s Towns’ Fund. A total of £22.4 million has been secured for the development of up to 15 transformational projects included in the city’s ‘Town’s Investment Plan’ (TIP).
The projects were submitted after extensive engagement and reflect local and national priorities which address the challenges we face – low social mobility, a debilitating skills gap, deprivation south of the river and the climate crisis.
The news is a huge boost to the city’s regeneration and post-Covid recovery, and crucially opens up a wider conversation with government and independent groups (such as the #StrongerHereford board) on future ways to revitalise Hereford.
The board will now review the shortlisted projects put forward and start developing the business case which will be submitted back to Government for approval. The aim is for projects to be ready for delivery so that once investment is received, work can begin straight away.
Some of the projects put forward are:
- The redevelopment of the Maylord Orchard Shopping Centre into a state-of-the-art library, information resource centre and cultural hub.
- The development of ‘Southside’ – a new sports, food and skills community focal point for the people of South Wye.
- Major investment in ‘City Zipper’ electric buses.
- The development of a new NMITE Future of Work Skills Hub to help all Hereford residents understand and identify career opportunities, and support them to achieve their ambitions.
- Improvements to the current Holmer Road skatepark to encourage additional wheeled sports activities.
- Refurbishment of the Castle Green Pavilion to provide a revitalised home for the Youth Canoe Club, café facilities, a multi-functional and flexible community meeting space and a gallery celebrating local arts and heritage.
- A new, world-class contemporary museum facility to accommodate Hereford’s significant heritage treasures.
Lauren Rogers, Chair of the #StrongerHereford Board commented:
“After many months of hard work from everyone involved, especially the residents, communities and businesses who put forward project ideas and worked with us to develop the Town Investment Plan, it’s fair to say we are delighted. This funding will deliver a programme of work that will help Hereford become a thriving city that is green, fair, connected, digital and cultural.”
Who is on the board?
The #StrongerHereford board is a blend of people from private, public and community sectors who all have Herefordshire in their heart. They are a mix of parents, students, educators, business owners, employers and employees, creatives and politicians.
Background to the Towns Fund
On 27 July 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth.
A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision.
See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals.
Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19.