LEYLAND is one of the 100 places across the country set to develop proposals for regenerate towns as part of the new multi-million-pound Town Deals.

The towns eligible for support from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund include places with proud industrial and economic heritage but have not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

A total of 42 places across the Northern Powerhouse and 33 places in the Midlands Engine are among the 100 pioneers of new Town Deals as part of the government’s commitment to level up all regions by boosting productivity, skills and living standards.

Local Government Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said: "Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.

"We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.

"I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced today to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place. I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP said: 

"In July, the Prime Minister promised to level up 100 towns across the country, and today we’re delivering that promise.

"The best answers for local people will come from local people, that’s why we have listened to people living in these towns and will support them with a mega £3.6 billion fund to drive jobs and economic growth.

"Five years on from the launch of the Northern Powerhouse, we are reaffirming our commitment to the people of the North so they have the support they need to be at the leading edge of a confident, global Britain when we leave the EU on 31 October."

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s confirmation in July of an additional £1.325 billion to support towns as part of a renewed vision to level up our regions, which took the total value of the Towns Fund to £3.6 billion.

The government will soon publish a prospectus to guide towns through the process and set eligibility criteria for funding.

Once approved, new Town Deals will improve connectivity, provide vital social and cultural infrastructure and boost growth – with communities having a say on how the money is spent. Decisions on funding any proposals will be made in due course.

The Town Deals Fund builds directly on the government’s commitment to decentralising funding and decisions away from Whitehall and investing in the growth of local economies and devolving powers through ambitious City and Growth Deals, providing more than £9 billion of funding to Local Enterprise Partnerships and introducing 8 Metro Mayors in England. 

Cllr Matthew Tomlinson, who is the cabinet Member (Finance, Property and Assets) said: "The previous Tory administration have been promisign a Leyland masterplan for over 10 years and it has not been delved into.

"We only know details from the national press release online and it has come as a bolt out of the blue but we will be wanting to explore and see what opportunities there are for Leyland town centre.

"It certainly feels like there may be an election in the offing."