The community of Millom are celebrating today as it is announced the town is set to benefit from a multi-million pound Government investment.
Announced this morning by the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, Millom is set to receive £20.6m as part of the £3.6billion Towns Fund after being chosen in 2019 as one of 100 towns nationally to be invited to develop proposals for Town Deals.
The news comes as Prime Minster Bois Johnson sets out in a speech his vision for levelling up the UK, ahead of the landmark Levelling Up White Paper that will be published in the Autumn.
Trudy said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Millom has been successful in securing Town Deal funding from the Government and congratulate the Millom Town Deal Board, chaired admirably by Robert Morris-Eyton, and Copeland Borough Council for all their hard work, commitment and endeavour which have been instrumental in this success story for the town.
“Millom was identified as one of over 100 towns that could bid for a share in the £3.6 billion pound Towns Fund that was established to level up towns across the UK, create new jobs, help train local people and boost growth.
“I look forward to seeing the imaginative projects being delivered which will help to transform Millom for the benefit of residents and visitors for present and future generations.”
The funding will make way for a series of new projects, as developed by the Millom Towns Board and Copeland Borough Council, including a multi-use leisure centre, skills support, swimming pool and fitness space.
It will also allow for the development of a new linear park, fusing ecology, heritage and art into an inclusive recreational space incorporating walking and cycling between Millom and Haverigg, as well as improve the transport network, walking and cycling infrastructure, and strengthen Millom Railway Station as a transport hub.
Vacant and underused heritage buildings in the town centre will also be given a new lease of life for a range of uses, including workspace, residential, retail, arts and culture.
Robert Morris-Eyton, Chair of the Millom Town Deal Board, said: “We are delighted to be offered £20.6m, which will be life-changing for Millom. It will provide a much needed uplift to our town with investment in the fabric of the town and what will be a game-changing visitor attraction. We will now progress the work up of the projects including full financial assessments as directed by Government.”
The Government launched the Towns Fund in 2019 to invest in towns and high streets across England as part of plans to level up regions.
Millom - and each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal - also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19.
Improvement projects from the £500,000 funding boost as part of the Government’s Town’s Accelerator Fund have since been completed, and includes enhancements to both Millom and Haverigg play parks, a new accessible cycling, running and walking track and a digital trail, celebrating famous Millom poet, Norman Nicholson.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “I am thrilled that this significant investment for Millom has taken a major step forward, and I’d like to congratulate everyone from the Town Deal Board and Copeland Borough Council who have worked so hard on the bids thus far.
“I firmly believe that this will help create a sustainable – and prosperous - future for this wonderful town. Millom has huge opportunity to build its visitor and experience economies and this plan is focused on building a platform for investment and private sector growth on the back of Millom’s unique location on the Lake District coast.
“There is an incredible community in Millom; they are rightly proud of their town and have tremendous ambitions for its future. In terms of what we set out to achieve in order to meet local priorities, the plan ticks every box; encouraging employment, growth and innovation, improving health and wellbeing, facilitating regeneration, and enhancing transport and accessibility.
“We now look forward to working with the Town Board to work up the project detail.”
Vice Chairman of Millom Town Board and Millom councillor, Fee Wilson, said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear the news that Millom Town Bid has been successful. The Board under the strong leadership of our Chair, Robert Morris-Eyton has developed a bid which I firmly believe addresses the needs and aspirations of the community of Millom and Haverigg.
“I am very grateful to our MP Trudy Harrison for her unstinting effort to help us achieve this goal as well as Mike Starkie, the Mayor Of Copeland and Pat Graham, Copeland’s Chief Executive for their support and guidance through this process. Millom and Haverigg are full of self starters and we will need them to support and assist to deliver what I feel is a once in a lifetime opportunity from our Government to energise the community I am proud of and care about.”