At Full Council, Boston Borough Council approved a range of exciting projects that will be delivered through the Government’s Towns Fund Accelerated Funding.
The Borough Council and the Boston Towns Deal Board are already in the process of producing a Town Investment Plan which will be the basis of their bid for up to £25million of funding from the Towns Fund to help level-up the town, but it was announced last month that Boston would also benefit from £750,000 Accelerated Funding to help deliver projects in this financial year.
Boston Councillors have agreed a shortlist of six projects that they are looking to take forward to access this funding, these are:
Haven High Academy – 3G Pitch Development Project
Haven High Academy is applying to the Football Foundation for funding towards a full size floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitch on the site in Marian Road. The academy is keen to provide high quality facilities that will not only benefit their students but turn the venue into a hub for the local community.
Boston College Digital, Transport and Logistics Academy
Boston College’s Digital, Transport and Logistics Academy (DTLA) is proposed to introduce new courses that will provide skills training for Lincolnshire’s established logistics and transportation industry and is set for completion in November this year. Following consultation with the logistics industry, including the Port of Boston, the College have identified what equipment is required to accelerate the support for skills and employment and help the DTLA become fully operational in time to support the local economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boston Town Heritage Project
The Boston Townscape Heritage Project has been developed through a partnership between Boston Borough Council and Heritage Lincolnshire which aims to build upon the momentum gained from recent heritage led regeneration initiatives in the town and seeks to significantly enhance the eastern area of the town’s historic market place. The project has already successfully bid for match funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lincolnshire County Council and the accelerated funding would allow the project to be realised in full.
Experience Boston: Travel, Trade and Influence
Looking to capitalise on the success of the ‘Boston: Explore and Discover’ project, Experience Boston: Travel, Trade and Influence will enhance the Town’s cultural infrastructure to engage and share more effectively these stories as well as Boston’s historic trade and maritime associations, and the influence the town has had locally and internationally. The project will develop physical interpretation and heritage resources that are focussed on the historic environment of the town and its culture.
PE21 Feasibility Funding
The PE21 project is one of the Council’s key priorities and a major regeneration project that places the vibrancy and vitality of the town centre at the heart of its vision, contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy. There are many elements of the PE21 masterplan which may be included within the Town Investment Plan, however, a further feasibility study is needed into the viability of these interventions and market demand post COVID-19.
The Sanctuary, Restore Church
Restore Church are looking to bring forward this exemplar project within the PE21 area. The Sanctuary will be an inclusive community hub focussing on supporting homeless and vulnerable people; it will provide a range of services and opportunities that support people into accommodation, into training, into education and into work. The Accelerated funding would provide key match funding for the project, which Restore and the Borough Council are bidding to Ministry for Housing, Community and Local Government under its ‘Next Steps Accommodation Programme’, to support conversion of the asset to provide both long term and emergency accommodation.
Having been supported by Councillors these projects will now be submitted to Government to ascertain their suitability for the Accelerated funding. Whilst not all the projects will be able to access the funding, as their funding request exceeds the £750,000 allocation, there is still potential for those that miss out to be included in the Town Investment Plan which will submitted later this year.
Councillor Nigel Welton, Portfolio Holder – Economic Development and Planning, said: “These are all incredibly deserving projects, each of which would help us and the Towns Deal Board deliver long lasting positive change for Boston and our residents. Since its inception in January, the Towns Deal Board has placed an emphasis on collaboration and partnership working and that is something that underpins each and everyone of these projects.
“Through discussions with the Board and from the feedback we’ve received through the #MyTown project, we have been able to identify some key areas that it is clear local communities want to see supported, including enterprise and skills, sport and health, and support for our High Street. These projects will help meet each of these key themes; providing the maximum benefit for our residents and I look forward to seeing them be delivered.”