What is the Town Fund?
The Town Fund is a funding scheme launched by the Government for towns like Hastings to improve their economy and benefit all parts of its community. More information about the scheme can be found in the Town Fund Prospectus.
The government invited 101 towns to develop proposals for a Town Deal, as part of the £3.6 billion Fund. Hastings is one of the towns across the country eligible to bid for up to £25m from the Town Fund with the opportunity to bid for more money from other national funding streams, as well as other sources including private. The Town Deal will will be managed by the Town Deal Board, it will cover the whole of the Hastings borough. Although projects should be targeted towards Hastings town centre and employment gateway sites (such as industrial estates).
The Town Deal funding can only be used for capital projects – such as new or repurposed buildings, places or assets and must refer to the impact COVID-19 has had on the town.
The Town Deal board have also been awarded £173,029 from the government to support the development of the Town Deal, its Investment Plan and business case development for specific projects. Through this process they will have to identify projects, what funding is required; and how these projects fit with the vision, challenges/ambitions and wider longer term plan for the continued regeneration of the town.
The board will bring forward proposals developed and shaped by working with partners, private and public investors and the community to produce a Town Deal Investment plan (a strategy document), which will need to be approved by the Government before the board can start shaping and developing the detail in them to bring them to life.
If the funding is secured it will deliver jobs, homes, skills and action to reduce our carbon emissions.
What is the Hastings Town Deal?
The Town Deal is the agreement signed by government, the Town Deal board and the council, as lead organisation for the project. The Town Deal is signed after the board has developed and submitted their Town Investment Plan by 31 January 2021 and it has been approved by government.
COVID-19 meant that the timescales for the Town Deal were changed by government in June 2020 to allow towns more time to develop their investment plan and consider how Covid-19 is impacting the economy.
The Town Deal process will allow Hastings to access up to £25m of Town fund funding and deliver the vision and ambitions in the Investment Plan over the next six years and beyond. There will also be the opportunity to secure additional funding which may come from other sources or branches of government and private investment, to support the implementation of a Town Deal. It offers an opportunity for Hastings to address many of the remaining social and economic challenges in the town as a whole and create a more resilient and secure future.
How will the plans be developed for the deal?
A 'Town Deal Board' was established in January 2020 in accordance with the guidance detailed in the Town Fund prospectus. It includes businesses, community representative organisations, public sector and other partners committed to improving the town. The Board will lead the development and delivery of the Town Investment Plan over the next six years, with support from the council as lead partner.
What is the objective?
The Town Investment Plan represents the board's vision and ambition for Hastings and will help them towards taking steps to achieving many of their objectives. It is a prospectus for the future, showing both public and private funders and investors that Hastings is open for business.
The board will use the funding to address challenges and achieve the vision to benefit all parts of the community and businesses.
You can find out more about the Town Deal on the government's website.
- Run regular Town Deal Board meetings and use it as the vehicle through which the Town Investment Plan is developed and agreed
- Town Deal baord to produce an evidence-based Town Investment Plan by 31 January 2021 and submit it to government for approval.