Council reveals £16m recovery fund to boost Telford

A council has announced more than £16m of funding for borough improvements – driven by the public's shifting priorities due to Covid.

Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies
Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies

Telford & Wrekin Council said it was providing a £16m investment to help the borough bounce back from the pandemic.

The money will be spread across a number of projects, with £4m to spend on high streets, £2m for green and opens spaces, £1m for parks, £1m for 'top events and activities', £4m for climate change, £2.5m for community safety, and £1.5m for community action teams.

The funding includes money to start buying up empty homes from landlords, renovating them, and then renting them under the banner of Telford & Wrekin Homes.

Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said the focus was on helping the borough recover from the impact of the Covid crisis.

He said: "This is all about recovery. Obviously Covid has not gone away but after a difficult and draining 18 months there are lots of things that need to be prioritised.

"We know the residents have enjoyed green spaces and parks during that time and we want to protect and enhance those areas.

"Climate change is a huge challenge for the country and the world and we have some really forward thinking things we have done in the past like the solar farm, and the £4m is about accelerating towards carbon neutrality.

"We are also going to be buying houses off the market in order to give local families an affordable rent in a quality place they can call home."

He added: "In terms of high streets and high street recovery we have got a really successful record of that in recent years but this is new money, £4m of cash on top of money from the towns fund of £3m each for Wellington and Oakengates.

"We want to help people shop locally and help independent businesses thrive."

Councillor Davies said the choices over the projects had been driven by feedback from the borough's residents during the pandemic.

He said: "One of the things we have heard from residents time and time again is their focus and what is important to them has changed because of the pandemic, and this is all about getting to the heart of those priorities."

He added: “Over the past 18 months I’ve been overwhelmed by how everyone in Telford and Wrekin has pulled together. We can all agree we’ve been through some tough times.

“So this extra investment helps us to look forward together to better times ahead, as we protect, care and invest to create a better borough.”

Councillor Davies said it was down to the authority to continue to drive improvement in the borough.

He said: "We want people to spend locally with local businesses but we want to attract more and more people to Telford & Wrekin.

"I am proud Telford & Wrekin is my home, I live here with my family and I choose to, and I want other people to look at Telford & Wrekin and want to live here too."

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