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Update on Burton Towns Fund Programme

As the town continues to wait for Government approval on the Towns Fund submission made in March of this year, approval has been received for the Project Adjustment Request (PAR) that was submitted alongside the Towns Fund bid.

The PAR confirmed the reallocation of funding across the Towns Fund projects as a result of the business case assessment process and its approval sends a positive message to the town about the likelihood of further approvals to begin progressing the Towns Fund projects. This includes further investment in the High Street regeneration project and extending the enhancement of the canal towpath. 

Ben Robinson MBE, Chair of the Town Deal Board, said: “Although we had hoped to have a decision on the outcome of our bid by now, the approval of the project adjustment request is good news for the town and gives a good steer on how our bid is being received by Government.

Hopefully, a positive decision on the bid will soon follow this approval and the Towns Fund projects can begin in earnest.” 

Separately, the remaining Towns Fund project, the Regional Learning Hub, has suffered a setback as Staffordshire University are unable to progress the project in a time of political and economic uncertainty for the higher education sector. Concerns raised by the university include a looming financial crisis for higher education alongside issues in the region that could contribute towards lower participation rates.

Cllr George Allen, Leader of the Council, said: “Whilst this is a disappointing outcome of our partnership working with Staffordshire University, I can empathise with the challenges facing the Higher Education sector and this decision is a pragmatic one as we look to secure a long term, sustainable future for the town’s historic buildings.

As it is not possible to start a new project at this time, our focus will shift towards how the funding for this project can be secured and reallocated to the wider Towns Fund programme in order to keep investing in Burton, levelling up the town centre.”

More information on the Towns Fund bid will be available in due course, once confirmation has been received from the Government.

2022-07-08 00:00:00