New project portal launched for £20m Darwen Long Term Plan

Published Thursday 16 May 2024 at 11:01

A new portal has been launched to help gather suggestions for how £20m of new funding could be spent on projects in Darwen.

The town is one of just 55 from across the country to have been awarded the cash as part of the Government’s Long Term Plan for Towns scheme.

And, a new Board has recently been formed to help prioritise how the funding can be best spent with Tracey Alcock – General Manager at Herbert Parkinson’s Ltd, one of Darwen’s biggest employers – as Chair.

The Board is made up of community and business leaders as well as representatives from the Police, health, education and housing – drawing in skills from a wide range of sectors all with strong links to Darwen. You can see a full list of the Board members here.

Along with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, they’re keen to hear from residents and community organisations about potential project ideas.

There’ll also be a separate, online survey and drop-in events for residents who would like to have their say about how the funding should be prioritised. More details are set to be announced on that soon.

All successful projects will need to be linked to three key themes set out by Government:

  1. Safety and security – aimed at tackling crime and anti-social behaviour to ensure local areas and businesses can thrive
  2. High streets, heritage and regeneration – including ideas to enhance town centres to ensure they remain the beating heart of our towns and offer opportunities to local people
  3. Transport and connectivity – focusing on improving transport connectivity so that residents can access high streets, jobs, and local shopping centres with ease

There’s also the opportunity to focus on parks and open spaces – something the Board and Council know is a priority for residents.

At this stage, there’s no guarantee of funding support for project ideas, but the ideas but they’ll be carefully considered as the Board and the Council develop their first Investment Plan, as required by Government.

That’s set to be submitted this summer.

Tracey said:

Anyone who works with me knows that I put people at the heart of everything I do, and I’m determined to do that in this new role with the Board.

We’ll be listening to the priorities that residents tell us are important to them and we will look at how we can best spend the £20m of new Government funding to help improve the town over the next decade.

This new portal is a great way for residents, businesses and community groups to tell us about specific project ideas they have that can help make a real difference.

There’ll be a separate chance for people to have their say on priorities for Darwen as part of a wider public consultation – both online and in person – with more details on that to be announced very soon.

Making a real difference is what matters most to us all and we want people to have their say and help shape the future of the town.

Deputy Chair of the Board, Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, added:

This new funding will build on the tremendous amount of new investment that we’ve unlocked through the Darwen Town Deal – more than £100m.

As with that scheme, the new Long Term Plan funding will be very much focused on the priorities that residents tell us are important to them.

It will help us focus on priorities that the Town Deal just couldn’t cover, including improving our parks and open spaces which residents tell us time and time again are a priority for them and rightly so.

As Tracey has said, listening to our residents is incredibly important and we’ll be undertaking detailed consultation to ensure we get our plans right – right for the town, right for our residents and right for our businesses.

The deadline to complete the survey is June 10, 2024.

If you have a project you’d like to submit, you can do it by clicking this link.

For all the latest updates on the Long Term Plan scheme, please follow Darwen Town Centre Facebook and Instagram.

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.