Paignton gets a £13 million Christmas present

Torbay MP and government minister Kevin Foster at Westminster

Torbay MP and government minister Kevin Foster - Credit: Pic: Submitted

For generations of children the start of Christmas in the Bay was when Father Christmas arrived at Rossiter’s in Paignton, with a large crowd gathering each year hoping he might have a present in his sack for them. 

Yet the annual event, along with Rossiter’s itself, disappeared some years ago, with Paignton  town centre looking far from its best. Yet speculation has been mounting Father Christmas had a multi-million-pound present for the town centre itself in his sack this year. 

And it was confirmed today that Paignton is going to receive more than £13 million funding in a Boxing Day announcement.

The Torbay Weekly exclusively revealed before the weekend that Government Ministers may be poised to approve a major package worth regeneration funding over the festive period, following a bid submitted earlier this year to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

It will support a range of projects including work to regenerate Crossways and to get the Paignton Picture House reopened. Paignton was added to the list of places to benefit from the fund last year. It is estimated every £1 of Future High Streets Funding could secure £7 of further investment. 

Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster, a Government Minister himself, was optimistic before the announcement when asked by the Torbay Weekly for a reaction to the growing speculation. He said: “Over the last year Cllr Barbara Lewis and I have regularly pushed the case for Paignton Town Centre to get the support it needs to regenerate, a message heard loud and clear by Government Ministers. Following the £21.9m Torquay Town Deal it would be great if Santa had something in his sack for Paignton this Christmas.” 

It was months ago that a funding bid for the town was submitted by TDA on behalf of Torbay Council. 

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There was speculation that Chancellor Rishi Sunak would make a statement revealing which bidding towns had been successful in his recent autumn statement but nothing was forthcoming. 

Torbay is going through a purple patch at the moment with government cash support. 

Besides the Torquay investment, around £350 million is going towards a complete rebuild of Torbay Hospital's Newton Road campus and almost £8 million has been allocated to a new rail station at the 'Gateway' into Torquay at Edginswell.