Lib Dem led Torbay Council has unlocked an incredible £22m investment from the Towns Fund to drive economic regeneration in Torquay.
It will provide Torquay with a once in a generation opportunity to bring about significant change with a focus on the town centre. The funding will be used to deliver innovative regeneration and transformational projects set out in the Torquay Town Investment Plan.
The projects within the investment plan will provide a better mix of uses, creating an improved experience and greater footfall in the town centre, support growth in public transport and are expected to attract additional private sector investment into the town.
The Torquay Town Deal Board asked for £25m from the Government’s Towns Fund and have been awarded £22. The total development cost of the projects in the Town Investment Plan is an estimated £135m.
The Towns Fund aims to unleash the economic success of towns and high streets across the country, levelling up communities and ensuring everyone can contribute to and benefit from economic growth.
The decision to award the full funding comes just two weeks after an announcement of accelerated funding of £750,000 to bring some of the projects forward immediately.
Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “With the pandemic reshaping our town centres it is timely that we can become masters of our won destiny by using these monies to drive the positive changes we need to see in Torquay to create a town fit for the future. To receive £22m from the Towns Fund acknowledges the challenges in the town and the opportunities the Town Investment Plan creates.”
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “Preparation to deliver the investment plan has started following the award of accelerated funding. Knowing that Government has confidence in our plans and want the detailed bids means we can resolve the bigger challenges in the town, addressing key locations. The projects will help transform Torquay’s economic growth prospects, with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture which will also benefit the whole of Torbay.”
The fund provides a great opportunity to bring transformational investment into Torquay capitalising on naturally inspiring cultural and heritage assets and strengths in the health, hi tech and tourism sectors.
One of the projects that would benefit from investment is the Torquay Harbour public realm, which would improve the area through investment into the paving, seating and lighting. Other projects include a new rail station at Edginswell, mixed use regeneration at key locations in the town centre and improving Torquay Pavilion. Investment is also planned for Upton Park, Rock Walk and Princess Gardens.
The first business cases will be submitted to Government in the first quarter of 2021 with the physical works on the projects likely to start within 3-6months of the submission.
The plans and proposals build on the lobbying work by Torbay Together and have been heavily informed by the Neighbourhood Plan.
To find out more about the Torquay Towns Fund visit: www.torbay.gov.uk/torquay-towns-fund