Multi-million pound funding will reshape Scunthorpe for a better future

08:30, Friday, 1st May 2020

Ten projects are being developed as part of a major investment programme which will continue the transformation of Scunthorpe.

Detailed studies will now be pulled together with cash made available from the Government’s Towns Fund. The projects are expected to create hundreds of jobs, improve peoples’ health and wellbeing and create stronger communities.

The proposals – which represent the largest investment programme in Scunthorpe for generations – will change the face of the town and wider area. Included is:

  • An advanced manufacturing park across 60 acres of land creating hundreds of highly-skilled advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs by attracting companies from across the globe to locate in Scunthorpe.
  • Taking forward proposals for a new hospital for the region.
  • The revolution of the town centre public realm, stripping out and replacing old and worn furniture to create a clean, modern environment.
  • Building a new cultural quarter for Scunthorpe in the heart of the town.
  • Developing a technology business incubator hub in the town centre to help start-ups grow, expand and attract investment while assisting existing businesses to innovate.
  • A scheme to attract graduates to live and work in the area.
  • A clean, green energy system which transports low-cost, locally-produced heat and electricity into homes and businesses.
  • Ensuring every home and business in Scunthorpe has access to Gigabit internet
  • Increasing rail capacity into major cities across the north to enable people to live in North Lincolnshire but access the broader jobs market the cities offer.
  • An integrated, green transport system which transforms the way people travel across Scunthorpe to ensure commuters can use all modes of transport safely and efficiently included radical changes to public transport and new traffic-free cycle routes.

The Town’s Fund itself will receive up to £25m but it will be used to leverage hundreds of millions of additional funding for the raft of projects designed to revolutionise the area.

People from across the region are being encouraging to have their say on what they would like to see through the Government’s My Town campaign – further details on Scunthorpe are available on the My Town portal.

It follows from almost £40m which has already been invested in the town centre in recent years and will be led by the public-private partnership Towns Fund Board which is administering the town’s share of a £3.6bn national government scheme designed to rejuvenate towns across the country. The Board is chaired by the University of Lincoln’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart.

These latest developments come as North Lincolnshire Council is investing more than £5m in community facilities across the area – including places such as Ashby, Barton, Brigg and the Isle of Axholme – and spearheading major infrastructure investment of £31m in the road network across North Lincolnshire, including the development of two new motorway junctions which will relieve congestion, open up development land for Lincolnshire Lake and significantly reduce commute times to nearby cities.

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln who chairs the local Towns Fund Board, said:

“Following the latest board meeting, it is clear progress is being made to build upon the many years of investment in Scunthorpe town centre. It is an exciting time for Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire, which will see the local economy boosted and numerous opportunities become available for further investment.

“A variety of different projects are in the pipeline covering business, transport infrastructure, health, connectivity, culture and leisure sectors.”

Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“We have enjoyed an incredible amount of support from Government, particularly in cash terms and we have been able to invest in the people and place of North Lincolnshire. Now we are in position to really catalyse that.

“This is the culmination of many years work planning and preparing and we have a great team with an unparalleled skillset around the table – from the local government officers, regional and national government representatives and importantly senior business leaders. We look forward to developing these proposals further with local stakeholders.

“We have seen across the last few weeks an incredible response to protect the most vulnerable in North Lincolnshire in response to Covid-19. We must  capture that sense of community which has been shown into some of these projects.

“These proposals will be fundamental in helping to grow the economy of North Lincolnshire, they will help people stay safe and well and they will enable the communities to flourish creating wealth and prosperity. If ever we needed the wider backing to achieve this and push North Lincolnshire and Scunthorpe further on it is now.”

Holly Mumby-Croft, MP for Scunthorpe, who sits on the Towns Fund Board, said:

“Exciting doesn’t really come close in terms of describing what is in the pipeline for Scunthorpe and I am sure the impact of the Towns Fund Board and the projects which come from it will be felt for generations.

“We know the people who live here love the place and we also know that they feel they have been left behind. That is changing. The town has a bright future, a future which includes people living, working, socialising and enjoying a whole host of leisure and cultural activities.

“The retail experience has changed, not just here but across the UK, and sadly the high street of old no longer exists. I think what people miss is the busy, bustling, vibrant place, a sense of community is what people crave and it can be recreated. The feel, the experience, will be the same but the things which drive it are just different.

“The cumulative impact of all of these projects will create a people-focussed town which is easy to work in, is a nice place to play in, to exercise in and to enjoy time with friends and families and if you so choose, to learn in too. There will be more reasons to be here.

“If the current Coronavirus pandemic has taught us one thing it is that the spirit of community can prevail and where there is a common goal, we can overcome and achieve great things.

“As we start to emerge from the impact on North Lincolnshire I am confident that that same spirit and endeavour can be brought to bear to the economy and the town too. There is the collective desire to continue to build upon what we have achieved already and share the desire for a better place and community, for a progressive town.”