It has been announced today that Torquay will receive £750,000 in accelerated funding for projects listed in the Town Investment Plan. This is to deliver long term economic and productivity growth as part of the Towns Fund.
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 Torquay Town Investment Plan aims to revitalise and regenerate the town centre and surrounding areas. The accelerated projects include:
– Investment for Upton Park which will bring a variety of social benefits to the community and ensure residents and visitors are able to make best use of the park’s location.
– Improving Princess Gardens, which is a location of strategic importance and has fantastic links to Torquay train station and the town centre. Improvements will provide better access, an event space and planting. Ideas also include Princess Gardens as a location for electric bike hire, improving access to all areas and helping develop a thriving community.
– Investment to Rock Walk, which includes improving the illuminations along the sea front with more creative lighting year-round. Also potential link ups with Abbey Gardens and Princess Gardens to encourage more people to connect with the seafront, draw people to walk/cycle between and visit these different locations and offer a boost to night-time economy.
These projects will create an improved experience for people using these spaces and encourage footfall to these locations ahead of a decision on the full bid expected in the next eight weeks.
Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “Today’s announcement recognises the efforts that we are making, with partners, to build ambitious plans for Torquay. Focusing on a transformation of Torquay’s town centre through innovative regeneration we will build a prosperous future for the town.”
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “This accelerated funding has come at a time when it has been hugely challenging for our community and having the funds to start work on these projects will help us make an immediate impact.”
Following Government’s inclusion of Torquay as an eligible place for the Stronger Towns programme, Torquay’s Town Board developed a Town Investment Plan. The Plan focuses on delivering a more vibrant town centre and surrounding areas. It addresses challenges at key locations, including Torquay Pavilion, and improving transport connections by supporting the Edginswell Rail station. The total development cost of the projects in the Town Investment Plan is an estimated £135 million.
While the Torquay Town Deal Board has asked for £25m from the Government’s Towns Fund to support economic recovery and build a prosperous future for the town, the accelerated funding gives the Board and its partners chance to start the investment plan.
Vince Flower, Chairman of the Town Board, said: “This announcement gives Torquay the opportunity to start to deliver the Town Investment Plan. The projects we have identified to receive accelerated funding will help support the growth and recovery of the town during the pandemic. The impact of Covid-19 makes these investments more important than ever and more important that the Government continues to support Torquay when it makes a decision on the full programme set out in the Investment Plan.”
To find out more about the Torquay Towns Fund visit: www.torbay.gov.uk/torquay-towns-fund
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