08/06/2021 - Permalink

Funding bids for Levelling Up Fund for three towns backed by Cabinet

Related topics: Economic growth / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

Three Shropshire towns could see major projects take a step forward after Shropshire Council’s Cabinet backed plans to seek Government Levelling Up Fund monies, at their meeting on Monday 7 June 2021.

The council will now apply to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for support on projects in Craven Arms, Oswestry and Shrewsbury.

The three schemes would see major works carried out in the towns to help support communities, boost the economy and improve infrastructure.

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said:

“I am delighted to have secured the backing from Cabinet to take these bids to the Government forward.

“These are major projects across the county, which will help our economic recovery plans, boost infrastructure and benefit communities.

“We want to stimulate growth in our towns and support businesses, and these projects will do just that.”

In Craven Arms, a bid will be made to fund a major infrastructure project to include a new roundabout on the A49, a road bridge over the railway line, and spine roads and utility provision on key employment sites.

This supports the planned growth of Craven Arms through accelerating the delivery of infrastructure to unlock the allocated Local Plan housing and employment growth on the northern edge of the town.

This will also enable sites within the town centre to be redeveloped for more appropriate uses, including housing.

In Oswestry a package of projects is proposed, focusing in two key locations. Town centre investment will be sought to support the regeneration and recovery of the centre, through increased footfall supported by public realm improvements and through measures to support businesses to stimulate economic growth.

These proposals complement existing activities and schemes such as the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme.

Funding for improvements to support the planned housing and employment developments around Mile End will also be sought, through ipark.

The projects will stimulate growth, support businesses, increase town centre footfall to support the turnover of existing businesses and the visitor economy and improve walking and cycling infrastructure.

These improvements are not standalone projects, but build on current part of a wider strategy to improve the town supported by existing activities and public/private investment already secured.

In Shrewsbury, a bid will be made to support the Big Town plan package of projects, which will include making movement better on key routes in the town centre such as widened pavements and traffic calming.

Other key projects include accelerating the Smithfield Riverside improvements, which will help unlock, get the site ready and accelerate the development of Smithfield Riverside through the delivery of the Strategic Development Framework.