Jim Parker: Seems I guessed it right - now we have to grab the moment with both hands
- Credit: Archant
Not too far off the mark then....
Last week I speculated how Chancellor Rishi Sunak was poised to give Torbay yet another cash boost in his budget
It came as he included the English Riviera in a list of areas to benefit from a new ‘Levelling Up’ fund.
Seven locations in the South West areas were identified as ‘priority places’ for the £4.8billion pot of cash.
The fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects and cultural and heritage assets.
Each priority place will receive £150,000 to support bids for the cash and we could be talking of millions more investment here on top of the £22million and £13million already handed down to breathe new life into the heart of Torquay and Paignton.
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The award will mean even more work for Torbay Council’s regeneration company TDA – not that anybody is complaining!
I’ve had sight of a newsletter from TDA chief executive Steve Parrock just detailing what the organisation has on its books at the moment – emphasising that a lot of this will be council contracts.
“Torbay is very important to all of us, so we wanted to shine an even brighter light on some of the exciting things that Torbay Council and TDA are doing together to improve our wonderful Bay,” says Mr Parrock in the newsletter.
He adds: “2020 may well be remembered for the year of the pandemic but it is also the year that Torbay took full advantage of multiple government backed funding streams which will transform our town centres in particular and provide new affordable homes.
“With the funds now available we can truly focus on delivering these projects throughout 2021.”
Some of the game-changing projects include Torquay’s £21.9million from Towns Fund.
Mr Parrock says: “This successful bid will unlock an incredible investment in Torquay from the Towns Fund. This will be used to drive economic regeneration and provides Torquay with a once in a generation opportunity to bring about significant change, with a focus on the town centre.”
He talks of Paignton and the £13.36million from the Future High Streets Fund.
“This successful funding bid will enable us to kick start the regeneration of Paignton. The community led plans especially focus on the heart of the town centre, including Paignton Station Square, Torbay Road and big opportunity sites at Crossways and Victoria Centre,” says Mr Parrock.
He talks of TorVista, a recently-established new company to deliver affordable homes in the Bay.
Once ‘Registered Provider status’ is confirmed, work can start on building new homes at Totnes Road in Paignton and St Kildas in Brixham.
Progress is being made on the restoration of Torquay’s Pavilion and the Hampton by Hilton scheme for Torwood Street is near completion.
He says ‘significant progress' is being made on the new £11million 120-bedroom Premier Inn hotel at the Terrace car park in Torquay.
Work is advancing on the Claylands manufacturing facility in Paignton.
The EPIC centre has been described as an ‘outstanding success story’. It has seen more than 10 businesses relocate to the site, three of which are foreign-owned.
Mr Parrock says the overall aim is to help the Bay build back better after Covid.
This is just a small snap shot of the huge amount of work and millions of pounds of investment in Torbay at the moment which will transform our fortunes. We have never seen so much public and private investment and if we miss the chance to grab it now with both hands generations to come will never forgive us.