Friday, July 1, 2022

Millions in government funding confirmed for transformational Boston projects

Transformational multi-million-pound projects for Boston have been given the go-ahead by the government.

The confirmations mean that Boston is set to get a bespoke learning centre for adults, and a redeveloped leisure complex. In addition, Boston train station will be refurbished.

These projects have been given the green light after the Boston Town Deal Board submitted business cases to the government.

The approval of summary documents and associated business cases is part of the process for accessing the Towns Fund investment, which was announced for Boston in 2021, with the agreement of a Town Deal worth £21.9m.

Boston’s confirmations come as projects for Skegness and Mablethorpe have also been given the go-ahead after town deals were also agreed for Skegness £24.5m, and Mablethorpe £23.9m.

Neil Kempster, chair of Boston Town Deal Board, said: “The approval of the remaining business cases by the government is a hugely significant milestone for our town.

“With the confirmation of all of the funding, we can now move forward with delivering these projects which will be truly transformational for our area.

“Through these projects, our learning and leisure offer in Boston will be hugely enhanced, and the experience of both residents and visitors at our railway station, a crucial gateway into the town, will be improved.

“The Town Deal funding and projects present Boston with a once in a generation opportunity to bring sustainable change to our town and I am excited to see these projects develop as we move into delivery.”

Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, said: “The confirmation that Boston and Skegness have secured almost £50 million in Government funding is a reflection not only of the Government-recognised need for ‘Levelling up’ in places like ours but also the quality of the work carried out by both the Boston Town Deal board and the Connected Coast Board.

“I am confident that the projects selected, which met strict criteria around driving growth through skills, land use and connectivity, will begin to deliver real, visible improvements to our towns – and are only the start of the continued transformational funding this Government has recognised our area needs and deserves.”

Councillor Paul Skinner, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Boston, as we look to enhance the offering for our communities by providing newly refurbished facilities within the town centre. This will deliver long lasting positive change for Boston and our residents.

“These projects will also help meet our corporate ambitions; providing affordable and accessible leisure opportunities for all and to promote Boston’s economy, industry and opportunities.”

The confirmation of the business cases means that in Boston a new bespoke learning centre for adults will be developed that will include higher education in a unique learning environment aimed at being inclusive to the whole community. Led by Boston College, the ‘Mayflower’ will enable business and learners to connect, create, and innovate. Almost £10m has been confirmed for this project.

Claire Foster, principal and CEO of Boston College, said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be given the green light for Mayflower, an iconic building that will be an inspirational beacon for skills, enterprise and innovation in Boston. We are looking forward to taking the project forward, to provide a space that welcomes our communities to learn, develop and thrive for the benefit of the whole town and the wider region.”

And, next to the new Mayflower there will be a redeveloped leisure complex which will provide additional facilities which forms part of a transformational development of this area of the town.

In addition, Boston train station will be extensively refurbished by East Midlands Railway. Improvements will include a full refurbishment of the main station building and external areas, reconfiguring the layout to best utilise the space to include new community and start up business facilities.

Lisa Angus, transition and projects director for EMR, said: “We’re delighted the investment at Boston and Skegness Railway Stations has been approved. As gateways to both towns, the enhancements at the Railway Stations will be transformative to the surrounding communities, offering an improved customer experience to all station visitors. We’re looking forward to start work on the extensive refurbishments, which include community spaces, cafés, customer waiting facilities, retail units, accessible toilets and much more.”

As well as the Towns Funding from government, all of the projects will also benefit from match funding meaning the investment for Boston will be even higher.

The confirmation of the projects comes after government approval was given earlier this year to Boston for the release of £2m in Town Deal funding for the Centre for Food and Fresh Produce Logistics and almost £4m for investment in town centre buildings. £802K was also confirmed for developing the Blenkin Memorial Hall, and £228k for St Botolph’s library and lighting.

In addition, Boston received early funding – called accelerated funding of £750k in 2020 to bring projects forward.

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