The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal (BIGD) was formally signed on 18th March 2021. This represents up to £452million of fresh investment to the Borderlands area. Ministers of the United Kingdom (UK) and Scottish Governments and representatives of the five councils of the Borderlands Partnership, which includes Northumberland, signed the Deal at a virtual ceremony.
The Deal is described as truly distinctive, covering the largest geographical area of any regional growth Deal negotiated with the UK and Scottish Governments. It is also the first cross-border deal.
The Deal commits £50 million (£30m in England and £20m in Scotland) to the delivery of a Borderlands Place Programme. In order to draw down funding from the BIGD, Northumberland County Council has identified seven priority towns that have a clear need for intervention and the greatest potential for funding eligibility. Prudhoe is one of the seven towns identified. Others are: Alnwick, Bedlington, Haltwhistle, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Rothbury and Bellingham.
Each town prioritised will be supported to develop a Place Plan. The journey necessary to produce an effective Place Plan is lengthy. The Town Council expects to be contacted next month; facilitated work with stakeholders will take place throughout the remainder of 2021, with community consultation beginning in 2022. The rollout timeline is indicative as towns are expected to develop plans at their own pace.
The BIGD is designed to deliver funding and investments that can have a permanent and lasting effect on towns and town centres, with communities at the heart of the process.
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