What is the Town Fund?
The Town Fund is a new funding scheme launched by the government for towns like Hastings to improve their economy. More information about the scheme can be found in the Town Fund Prospectus published in November 2019.
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 for the Town Fund. The Town Deal will cover the whole of the Hastings borough.
We have also been awarded £173,029 from the government to support developing the bid for this funding. Through this process we will have to say which projects will be identified, what funding is required; and how these projects fit with the wider, longer term plan for our continued regeneration.
We need to bring forward firm proposals developed in close working relationship with our community, partners, private and public investors.
If we secure the £25m it will deliver jobs, homes, skills and action to reduce our carbon emissions. It must include activities which ensure all our residents directly benefit from the proposed investment.
What is the Hastings Town Deal?
The council will be using the initial funding award to develop a Town Investment Plan and then agree a Town Deal with the government by the end of summer 2020.
The funding will be used to engage with our communities and partners to develop the deal and prepare a joint bid for this funding. There will also be the scope to argue for 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.
How will we develop the plans for the deal?
The council has established a 'Town Deal Board' in accordance with the guidance detailed in the Town Fund prospectus. It includes local businesses, , community representatives, council officers and other partners committed to improving the town. The Board will oversee the development of the Town Investment Plan together with the council as lead partner.
What is the objective?
The investment plan will represent our future vision and ambition for Hastings, and will help us towards taking steps to achieve many of our objectives. It will be our prospectus for the future, showing both public and private funders and investors that we are open for business.
The objective will be to use the funding to provide jobs, homes, skills and take actions to reduce our carbon emissions, benefitting residents across the whole town.
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 vision and strategy for the town is defined
- To produce and complete an evidence-based Town Investment Plan by the end of summer 2020
- To engage with the community and stakeholders to help define the vision and strategy for the investment plan
The timeline is subject to further guidance being published in March 2020.