Landmark plan is a common vision

The Rt Hon Jesse Norman holds one of the 15 places on the #StrongerHereford board. Jesse has been a Member of Parliament for Hereford and South Herefordshire since 2010 and is Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

Collaboration and a common vision has remained integral to the board but as Jesse explains “It’s an incredibly difficult task to capture the essence of the city somehow, and yet retain its energy and life. Like trying to bottle a rainbow”.

That’s why our bid was developed by an independent private and voluntary sector-led board but alongside the local council and leaders.

Jesse explains “It had to be built up from the grass roots. Drawing together private, volunteer and private sector energy, non-partisan, not political, consensual, distinctive and long term”.

It certainly was a huge amount of work and involved an immense amount of local consultation but the board with its very different backgrounds, interests and experience brought together a bid which Jesse says “is distinctive, so you knew which the city was without needing to check”.

 The result is a very coherent and strategic long term plan for future investment. “It combines skills, enterprise, heritage, culture, the arts, tourism into a package emphasising creativity, sustainability, connectivity and fairness” continues Jesse.

With the Budget 2021 already announcing £1bn for 45 areas of England, we now wait until May for the results of our Town Investment Plan.

What is the Town Deal?

Town Deals are part of the government’s plan to level up all regions by boosting productivity, skills and living standards.

Who are the Towns Fund board?

The Towns Fund board, called #StrongerHereford, is made up of local leaders, businesses and communities who have put forward a bid for £25 million to Central Government. The bid was the culmination of months of extensive engagement with people across Hereford and it was instrumental for the City Council to be part of that process to ensure a strategic and cohesive connection.