Darwen Town Deal Board members are delighted to announce today that the town’s “once-in-a-lifetime” bid has been allocated the maximum amount of £25 million.

This funding will underpin the delivery of the Darwen Investment Plan worth £116m and aims to generate and safeguard over 600 jobs and create or assist over 200 businesses among number of economic benefits to the town.

This major funding boost will allow the Darwen Town Deal Board to progress a range of exciting planned projects, in addition to the progress already being made by early Town Deal investment in the Darwen Tower, J4 Skatepark and AFC Darwen.

Wayne Wild, Chair of Darwen Town Deal Board and former Group Commercial Director of local company WEC, said:

“Today is a day for real celebration in Darwen, as the Prime Minister’s announcement means that we can now begin the real work to help create the even more thriving town which this community deserves.

“We are clearly punching well above our economic weight to have secured the maximum amount of Government funding available, and this investment will help transform the town over the coming years.

“I’m immensely proud to have been able to work with the town’s MP Jake Berry, the Council, community partners and business stakeholders to deliver a plan that has resulted in this Government funding, and greatly look forward to seeing the projects delivered in the coming months and years.

“Darwen is a genuinely fantastic and amazing place, and this investment will help to translate that into a town that is able to keep growing and flourishing for the community’s future.”

The funding will help Darwen prepare for the future with a focus on creating jobs, supporting the town centre, boosting businesses and connecting people to where they live and work through infrastructure and digital opportunities.

Jake Berry, MP for Darwen and Rossendale said:

“Working with the Town Deal Board on the plan to transform our town has been the opportunity of a lifetime for everyone involved.

“This £25M will mean that, no matter who you are, you are going to see the town change for the better, for you and your family.

“People often talk to me about Darwen’s glorious heritage; now we can say with confidence our towns best days lie ahead.

“This is a once in forever opportunity to make Darwen great again.”

Cllr Phil Riley, Executive Member for Growth and the Council’s lead representative on the Town Deal Board said:

“I’m delighted the Board have worked together to help secure this major investment to boost skills, improve the town centre, promote our strong heritage, and support new and growing businesses.

“We have also worked to develop a plan that will have true impact – a plan that will restore a sense of optimism for residents and businesses who have real pride in their hometown.

“This is a really exciting opportunity to drive long-term economic and productivity growth in Darwen, particularly as we recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

“I now look forward to helping deliver these ambitious plans as part of the Town Deal Board and making Darwen an even better place to live, work, and visit.”

Council Leader Mohammed Khan, CBE, added:

“I’m so proud of what the Board has collectively achieved for Darwen. I would also like to thank Jake Berry for his support and to our Council’s professional officers for putting together such an outstanding bid under the leadership of Councillor Phil Riley. My sincere thanks go to all those involved. This investment is great news for the town and beyond. The funding will not only help revitalise the historic heart of Darwen, but help kickstart the delivery of new jobs, training offers and improving skills that will all help to boost the economy of Darwen, underpinning the growth plans for decades to come.”

Darwen was just one of the 101 towns bidding for a share of the government’s £3.6bn Town Deal fund to support regeneration projects and create jobs. The money is a capital fund, which means it has to be used for tangible assets such as buildings, infrastructure or public space. Whilst the funding will be used to pay for buildings or developing assets, the Government wants to see the money used to deliver tangible economic benefits for local residents and businesses.

Further details about the Town Investment Plan and Town Deal Fund projects can be viewed at www.darwentowndeal.co.uk.

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