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£23 million awarded to Workington for regeneration

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Workington has been awarded £23 million to help its future.

Allerdale council formally submitted its bid on October 30 to the Government’s Towns Fund, a £3.6 billion pot which aims to increase opportunities for communities across the country.

Workington was one of more than 100 towns across the country invited to bid to the fund with the now-submitted proposals developed by the Workington Town Deal board, a mix of public, private and voluntary  sector partners, following public consultation earlier last year.

Projects include creating a ‘sports village’ and an innovation centre/co-working space, gained strong support from the public and partner organisations.

The other projects included in Workington Town Investment Plan are:

  • Improving the town centre’s public spaces and connectivity
  • Developing a logistics and clean energy hub at the Port of Workington
  • Developing a digital skills programme

It aims to redeveloping the former Opera House site in town centre and in the short-term creating space for local businesses to trade, for example through providing a street food offer.

Local leaders have welcomed the news that the bid which was submitted in October last year has been successful.

The bid, formally known as the Town Investment Plan (TIP), was developed by the Workington Town Deal board, a mix of public, private and voluntary sector partners, with Allerdale Borough Council the lead authority. The council will now work with Government to finalise the plans.

 The proposed projects gained strong support from the public and partner organisations during a public consultation exercise.

Mike Johnson, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for Workington. We knew we had a strong bid which had support from the public and I’d like to thank everyone involved for getting to this stage.

“We’ll now work with Government and our partners to bring these projects to life and make the town an even better place to live, work and visit.”

John Coughlan, chief executive of TSP Engineering and chair of the board, said: “These projects will be really transformative for Workington and the wider west Cumbria region and I can’t wait to see them come to fruition.

“The general public played a significant role in this bid with their support through the public consultation, so I’d like to once again extend my thanks to the good people of the area for working with us.”

Workington Conservative MP Mark Jenkinson welcomed the announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that Workington’s bid had been successful.

Mr Jenkinson said: “One of the core tenets of the plan is to support our fantastic town centres, which have undoubtedly faced huge challenges throughout 2020.

“That is why I welcomed the recent announcement for Maryport’s success in the Future High Streets Fund – the allocation of £11.5 million to regenerate Maryport’s high street and the massive investment in Borderlands.

“This comes on the back of successful schemes in high streets across Allerdale, funded by the Allerdale Borough Council.

“But that has been quickly followed today by the fantastic news in today’s budget that that we have managed to secure £23 million from Workington’s Town Deal submission!”