Telford’s Town Deal Board has approved £22.3m funding from the Government’s Towns Fund.
Some of the money will go towards the 'Station Quarter' project for Telford – a plan to re-shape the area between Telford Town Centre and Telford Central Railway Station, with the creation of a 'digital skills and enterprise hub', new homes, and leisure facilities.
It is the latest step in the expansion of the town centre, which has proved a major success with the creation of Southwater and continuing expansion of the town's shopping centres.
The board originally put forward a submission for £25mm, with the Government agreeing to provide £22.3m.
The board said that because of the lower amount it carried out a review of the original bid and adapted some of the plans to fit the funding and has now written to the Government to formally accept it.
Graham Wynne OBE, chair of the Telford Town Deal Board, said: “As a board we are obviously delighted to have attracted such a significant amount of funding to the town and the welcome news that the Government broadly approved our proposals.
“At the heart of our submission was a drive to up-skill the local workforce for an increasingly digital world. So, the plans for Station Quarter included a digital skills and enterprise hub, to be delivered by Telford College and the University of Wolverhampton, alongside a partnership of local businesses and the introduction of town centre living.
"The plans for Station Quarter will still go ahead, although we have had to amend our costings accordingly to take into account the funding offer from Government.
“The Town Deal Board also recognised investing directly into our communities is vital to sustained economic growth and spreading those benefits and ensuring links between Telford town centre with Oakengates and Wellington was central to the bid. Both towns have distinct identities and heritage, providing vital services to wide catchment areas and have enormous potential.
“I can confirm the investment from the Towns Fund will also be targeted into those towns, and the board is currently looking at other ways we can support the delivery of our plans to ensure the people of Oakengates and Wellington don’t miss out.”
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, added: “The Towns Fund award has already allowed us to bring in around £100m in match funding. As an authority committed to investing in our town, that’s a tremendous achievement and something I’m sure the Government will be pleased and relieved to hear.
“However, the Government’s award is around 10 per cent less than we asked for, so the council is actively looking at ways we can step in to address that shortfall. I hope to make an announcement within the next few weeks about how we can support the plans for Wellington and Oakengates, as well as our other borough centres.”