Levelling up opportunity in and around Stocksbridge
I am pleased to report that The Town Deal Board have submitted our exciting and transformational £25 million Town Investment Plan to Government for approval and funding.
The Town Deal Board was established as part of the Government's Towns Fund programme, which, through investment in 'left-behind' areas, aims to stimulate development and economic growth.
I am pleased to co-chair the Town Deal Board alongside local businessman Mark Dransfield, and have relished the fact the Board includes community groups, businesses, local councillors, Stocksbridge Town Council and Sheffield City Council.
The Town Investment Plan that was submitted, not only prioritises investments that will attract new businesses and job opportunities, areas, but also focuses on improving local connectivity, supporting healthier lifestyles, opening up access to education and training, and promoting sustainability.
Our proposal will create a lasting legacy by re-focussing our economy, upgrading the physical fabric of our town, raising the aspirations of adults and young people and
improving the health and wellbeing of our residents. The Towns Fund monies will strengthen existing community assets, encourage clean growth, and deliver new facilities which improve the town as a place to live, work and visit.
Stocksbridge Towns Fund seeks to deliver:
- Diversification of the economy through the first phase of the regeneration of Manchester Road, providing 4,500m2 of co-working, start-up, microbusiness, library, flexible community space
- Accommodation of c. 200 jobs in key growth sectors including digital, tech, creative, clean growth, professional, scientific and technical sectors
- Generation of c. £100m of Gross Value Added in the town over ten years
- An improved environment for investment, with 400m of highways and 0.2 ha public realm improvements at the heart of the town, and a funicular providing a novel and practical solution to strengthening links between the high street and Fox Valley
- 5.1km of improved cycle and walking trails, from the heart of Stocksbridge to the reservoirs and countryside attractions, as well as direct cycle connections to the city centre, attracting up to 26,000 visitors to the town each year
- New local bus services transporting over 150,000 passengers per annum
- Local post-16 provision serving 100 students per year, and adult training and education supporting 400 local people to upskill and progress into further training each year
- A radical improvement in health, wellbeing and sports facilities for local people
- An enhanced natural environment, with increased biodiversity and sustainability built into all Towns Fund investment.
Our plan was developed after a local consultation in Autumn 2020 through which local people helped to identify priority areas for investment. Together it forms a comprehensive set of projects that can be delivered within five years of our gaining approval and which contribute to improving the economic and social life of Stocksbridge, Deepcar, and surrounding villages.
This £25 million investment plan offers a fantastic opportunity for local communities as it focuses on levelling up opportunities in and around Stocksbridge making our area an even better place for everyone to live, work and thrive.
For too long communities like Stocksbridge have not benefited from the levels of investment seen elsewhere in the country, and that's why the Towns Fund programme is so important. I've particularly enjoyed working with so many people from across Stocksbridge to put this Town Investment Plan together, and I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the process.
When approved by the Government, our plans will be truly transformational for the area, not least as they reflect the changes that local people have been calling for over very many years.
I look forward to seeing our investment plan getting underway, so that for the first time in a long time we can unleash the full potential of Stocksbridge and its surrounding areas.