Rossendale Free Press
County provide cash boost to square revamp
LANCASHIRE County Council has stumped up £350,000 to help complete two town centre upgrade schemes which are short of cash.
County Hall will provide the funding to Rossendale and Pendle councils for projects to revamp parts of Rawtenstall and Barnoldswick respectively. The borough authorities approached the county council to request that it match the amounts they are each contributing towards the work in their areas.
An urgent decision was taken last month by county leader Geoff Driver and his deputy Keith Iddon to issue up to £150,000 to Rossendale for the project in Rawtenstall.
A report detailing the decision notes that the county’s contribution will “improve accessibility, [and make the areas] more attractive for residents, businesses and visitors”.
It adds: “It is also envisaged that the additional and new investment will assist in post-Covid-19 economic recovery programmes, focusing upon kickstarting further growth, jobs and investment.”
The County Hall cash will contribute towards the completion of a redesigned town square, close to the separate multi-million pound scheme to refurbish the Old Town Hall and create a new bus station.
The county council report notes that it will “transform a neglected piece of landscape” at the heart of the town and create “an outside meeting point, which is particularly important during Covid”.
Both projects were deemed to be high value for money for Lancashire
County Council because of the investment already being made by the two district authorities. Grant funding agreements will now be entered into with both boroughs.
The county council may have to borrow to fund its share of the investment, at an annual cost of £26,250 for the next 20 years.
However, if the schemes are judged to meet the criteria for the Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant programme - for which bids are being considered - the money could come from that exisitng pot instead.