In his budget today the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt named Boston as one of twenty new areas for a levelling Up Partnership led by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Working with local stakeholders the partnership will unlock barriers to growth and coordinate government departments to give bespoke help based on local needs, leading to improved outcomes locally. Previous Levelling Up Partnerships in Blackpool, Blyth and Grimsby have already started to regenerate run down housing and town centres, reduce health disparities, improve access to local jobs and increase skills training.
The partnership will see DLUHC working with key local partners to identify what Boston needs to unlock its potential. Examples have included in Grimsby major funding to repair three bridges and a partnership with Homes England to deliver town centre homes. In Blackpool, the local housing enforcement team has been given more money for taking action against landlords not meeting standards and the Department for Education and Department for Work and Pensions are working to increase local skills. In Blyth, there is a health into work pilot and an anti-social behaviour initiative, combined with housing regeneration.
Welcoming the news, Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness commented: ‘This government understands that whilst talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. This comprehensive intervention for Boston builds on the £21.9 million Town Deal, the £14.8 million Levelling Up award and the £2.62 million Shared Prosperity Fund and will harness local partnerships and national agencies to break down barriers to growth. Boston Borough Council has already demonstrated the power of working in partnership with the private, public and voluntary sector to develop bold ambitious projects like the Mayflower Centre and Rosegarth Square Masterplan. This partnership will deliver joined-up thinking from all government departments and local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive plan to unlock Boston’s potential and deliver for local people.’
Council Leader Paul Skinner said ‘I am delighted that this latest support from government for Boston will empower us to deliver even better outcomes for our local residents. This council has shown we know how to work in partnership and attract inward investment, working together with DLUHC and across government will mean we can really address systemic barriers to regeneration and growth. I know Bostonians are talented, innovative and ambitious for our town and I know together we can create somewhere we are proud to call home.’