Telford has been awarded £22.3m for projects that will transform the town centre, creating jobs, boosting economic growth and ensuring a bright future for residents and businesses.
Telford’s Town Deal Board has successfully bid for the funding from the Government’s Towns Fund. The funding will attract around an additional £30m of investment, creating the foundations for further development.
At the heart of the submission was a drive to skill up the local workforce for an increasingly digital world. So the plans for Station Quarter include a digital skills and enterprise hub that will be delivered by Telford College and the University of Wolverhampton and a budding partnership of local businesses. A centre of excellence focused on meeting business need and the next important step towards the town’s future. The development will also introduce town centre living into Telford, with eco-homes included in the plans.
The Town Deal Board recognised investing in to our communities is vital to sustained economic growth, so ensuring links between Telford town centre with Oakengates and Wellington was central to the bid. The investment will offer huge potential to these key locations and to the people who live there.
Both towns have distinct identities and heritage and wide catchment areas with enormous potential. Through targeted development the funding will help to redefine the town’s offer with opportunities for investment and a focus towards encouraging independent ventures and business start-ups. These centres will set a new benchmark for what can be expected from local centres and high streets.
Graham Wynne OBE, chair of the Telford Towns Deal Board, said:
“I am so pleased the government has approved our bid for our Towns Fund proposals. This is great news and a result of a lot of hard work by the board and the Telford team. The plans we have put together will have a transformational impact on Telford. They will kickstart our ambitious vision for Station Quarter, alongside the vital investment in to our borough towns.”
Cllr Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, added:
“This is great news for the town. I want to say a big thank you to the board and our partners who worked brilliantly to make such a compelling case to government.
“Our bid was for £25m and we still need to unpick exactly what the government funding will be allocated towards and the implications of the short fall. However, our proposals are so strong and exciting and I’m confident they will allow us to establish a model for regeneration that will benefit some of our most deprived communities.
“The future for Telford is bright and this funding is a game-changer as we move together into the next phase of the town’s development.”
Graham Guest, Telford College’s principal and chief executive, said:
“This is fantastic news – not just for the college’s own expansion plans, but for the whole town.
“It will transform the town centre, opening up exciting opportunities to the local community, and making Telford a much more attractive opportunity for inward investors.
“There are some fantastic plans to grow Telford’s station quarter, and we see it as a tremendous opportunity to create an ambitious and exciting innovation centre right at the heart of it.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to expand Telford College’s provision in a way which is accessible to a greater proportion of people across the borough, and which would raise people’s aspirations.
“It’s also about supporting local employers to ensure they can develop the sort of workforce they require – and help to retain these important skills in the town.”