£27m proposals to transform Scunthorpe submitted for Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund

10:41, Thursday, 3rd December 2020

North Lincolnshire Council has submitted its plans for a £27m investment across Scunthorpe through the Town Deal programme.

The bold proposals are designed to see the county town compete with cities across the United Kingdom to attract private sector investment.

Investments will be focused on creating an advanced manufacturing park with 4m sq ft of space to attract more world-class engineering firms to the area, further development of the town’s cultural quarter in and around Church Square and progressing work on a health and emergency services hub.

These projects are to be supported with significant investment in gigabit broadband to help businesses gain a competitive edge, the development of around 500 new homes in the town and a skills development programme designed to ensure local people are best placed to take advantage of all the new opportunities.

This latest investment proposal follows £40m of funding that has been invested by the council and Government alongside businesses and educational institutions since 2015 in the town centre – bringing in hundreds of new jobs, providing facilities for more than 1,500 students and unlocking housing and quality public space.

This includes the development of Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire, the Ongo Headquarters, St John’s Market, an extension to Church Square House, establishing the University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL), housing on West Street and a raft of road improvements.

This £25m investment plan is additional to the bid also being led by the council through the Future High Street Fund which has seen a pitch for almost £20m to create a business incubator hub and student accommodation on the 2.5 acre development site on the High Street.

Through the Covid-19 pandemic the council has continued to progress with ambitious plans and strategic infrastructure investments – including a multi-million pound motorway junction on the M181 alongside Highways England.

Also, through the last few months, the council has invested Government cash in a multitude of green transport initiatives.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“This is about investing in a better future for the people of Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire.

“Across the last five years there has been a significant amount of development across the town and that has continued since March, notably with new road infrastructure continuing to progress.

“Now we have a very serious plan for investment across the next five years that will create jobs. The conditions for growth need stimulating and these proposals will ensure a more attractive environment for businesses to invest.

“The end result of all of this will be that the right conditions will have been developed for highly-skilled, well-paid, sustainable jobs to flourish in Scunthorpe.”

Holly Mumby-Croft, MP for Scunthorpe and Towns Fund Board Member, said:

“The country has faced significant challenges over the last few months but we are nearing the end and these plans will make a huge impact as we begin the rebuilding process.

“These proposals put Scunthorpe firmly at the heart of a local, regional and national economic recovery programme. Throughout, the Government has backed Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire, and this transformational investment is the next phase of that.

“This will directly support local residents through the development of new employment opportunities, a fantastic new cultural offer and a skills development programme.”

Mary Stewart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, and Chair of the Towns Fund Board, said:

“Connecting people with greater economic, cultural and social opportunities is hugely beneficial to the communities which will benefit immediately as well as building a lasting legacy for future generations.

“Scunthorpe is not alone in its challenges to attract further investment though the proposals included in the Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan will have a significant impact in creating more fertile conditions where well-paid, sustainable jobs can thrive.

“The variety of projects will have a cumulative impact greater than the sum of their parts on prosperity in the town.”

Diana Taylor, Managing Director, Marketing Humber, and Towns Funds Board member, said:

“In the light of our current economic circumstances, it is critical for our communities that we address the challenges and grab the opportunities with both hands to reshape the future. This [Towns Fund bid] offers us the opportunity to reshape our capital investment into Scunthorpe and provide a bright and inspiring future for its residents. This bid is transformational and ambitious; the projects proposed will provide progressive development across a wide range of assets and capabilities.

“It includes investment into growth of industry and embracing digital and green technology, much of which will cement the critical role that Scunthorpe will play in both the regional and the UK’s economic recovery. It also includes investment into social health and mobility, and investment into a new cultural, arts and heritage offer.

“At the heart of this bid, is the desire to catalyse a transformation here in Scunthorpe that provides opportunities for everyone to grow and prosper. We want to develop an environment that will nurture skills and training, deliver new job opportunities, and deliver a great place to live, work and raise families.”