Saturday, January 16, 2021

£27m proposals to transform Scunthorpe submitted for Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund

North Lincolnshire Council has submitted its plans for a £27m investment across Scunthorpe through the Town Deal programme.

The proposals are designed to see the county town compete with cities across the United Kingdom to attract private sector investment.

Investments will be focused on creating an advanced manufacturing park with 4m sq ft of space to attract more world-class engineering firms to the area, a green energy park, further development of the town’s cultural quarter in and around Church Square and progressing work on a health and emergency services hub.

These projects are to be supported with significant investment in gigabit broadband to help businesses gain a competitive edge, the development of around 500 new homes in the town and a skills development programme designed to ensure local people are best placed to take advantage of all the new opportunities.

This latest investment proposal follows £40m of funding that has been invested by the council and Government alongside businesses and educational institutions since 2015 in the town centre – bringing in hundreds of new jobs, providing facilities for more than 1,500 students and unlocking housing and quality public space.

This includes the development of Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire, the Ongo Headquarters, St John’s Market, an extension to Church Square House, establishing the University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL), housing on West Street and a raft of road improvements.

This £25m investment plan is additional to the bid also being led by the council through the Future High Street Fund which has seen a pitch for almost £20m to create a business incubator hub and student accommodation on the 2.5 acre development site on the High Street.

The seven projects which will be progressed are:

Project 1 – Advanced Manufacturing Park Lincolnshire Lakes

The delivery of an Advanced Manufacturing Park at Lincolnshire Lakes will provide approximately 390,000m² of commercial floorspace to support the advanced manufacturing sector, as well as creating new and highly skilled jobs in Scunthorpe. Enabling Highways infrastructure has recently been delivered in the form of the ‘Northern Junction’ on the M181, providing direct access to the 60 acres of commercial development land.

Project 2 – Enabling a Future for Clean Growth in Scunthorpe

North Lincolnshire Green Energy Park is earmarked to be located on the Flixborough Industrial Estate in Scunthorpe. At its core will sit an Energy Recovery Facility, generating up to 95MW of electricity from 380MW of thermal energy. To ensure the greatest possible efficiency, this will sit alongside 10MW of hydrogen storage, 30MW of battery storage, 120 tonnes of steam storage and an ash treatment facility.

Project 3 – Developing Scunthorpe’s New Cultural, Arts and Heritage Offer

North Lincolnshire Council and partners will create a new cultural, arts and heritage offer in the Urban Centre of Scunthorpe. The project will be a focal point for civic pride as Scunthorpe town centre is reinvented through the council’s Town Centre Masterplan and will be central to challenging preconceptions about Scunthorpe. The project will continue to shape the civic, cultural, arts and heritage quarter along with project anchor and Scunthorpe Urban Park.

Project 4 – Developing Our People and Communities

This project seeks to invest in the social and economic infrastructure that is vital to the area’s growth, prosperity and success through stimulating and facilitating people, communities and organisations to create long term sustainability. To do this, the Council will make a case for a new eco-skills demand-pull system for Scunthorpe, arguing that greater local influence over skills would result in better outcomes for individuals, communities and businesses.

Project 5 – Integrated Health, Innovation and Emergency Services Hub

Supported by STP – HCV, CCG, NLAG and NLC, this project will deliver 20 acres of land and the conditions for the creation of an Integrated Health, Innovation and Emergency Services Hub for Scunthorpe, including the Blue Light Centre, Innovation and Development Centre and business park for supply chain, in a location close to the Town Centre.

Project 6 – Creating 21st Century Digital Connectivity

In North Lincolnshire, 94% of the area has access to Superfast Broadband however, less than 2% has access to Ultrafast Full Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) Broadband. This project specifically aims to increase this percentage by provision of the infrastructure, to enable more North Lincolnshire business and residents gain access to Ultrafast FTTP Broadband.

Project 7 – Transforming the Scunthorpe Housing Market

Working in partnership with Homes England, Housing Development Partners, Registered Landlords and the private sector, the Council will create a programme of housing delivery by re-purposing existing land, the acquisition of key sites and the utilisation of sites released through the Towns Fund Programme projects due to high cost remediation and site preparation versus low values.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is about investing in a better future for the people of Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire.

“Across the last five years there has been a significant amount of development across the town and that has continued since March, notably with new road infrastructure continuing to progress.

“Now we have a very serious plan for investment across the next five years that will create jobs. The conditions for growth need stimulating and these proposals will ensure a more attractive environment for businesses to invest.

“The end result of all of this will be that the right conditions will have been developed for highly-skilled, well-paid, sustainable jobs to flourish in Scunthorpe.”

Holly Mumby-Croft, MP for Scunthorpe and Towns Fund Board Member, said: “The country has faced significant challenges over the last few months but we are nearing the end and these plans will make a huge impact as we begin the rebuilding process.

“These proposals put Scunthorpe firmly at the heart of a local, regional and national economic recovery programme. Throughout, the Government has backed Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire, and this transformational investment is the next phase of that.

“This will directly support local residents through the development of new employment opportunities, a fantastic new cultural offer and a skills development programme.”

Mary Stewart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, and Chair of the Towns Fund Board, said: “Connecting people with greater economic, cultural and social opportunities is hugely beneficial to the communities which will benefit immediately as well as building a lasting legacy for future generations.

“Scunthorpe is not alone in its challenges to attract further investment though the proposals included in the Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan will have a significant impact in creating more fertile conditions where well-paid, sustainable jobs can thrive.

“The variety of projects will have a cumulative impact greater than the sum of their parts on prosperity in the town.”

Diana Taylor, Managing Director, Marketing Humber, and Towns Funds Board member, said: “In the light of our current economic circumstances, it is critical for our communities that we address the challenges and grab the opportunities with both hands to reshape the future.

“This [Towns Fund bid] offers us the opportunity to reshape our capital investment into Scunthorpe and provide a bright and inspiring future for its residents. This bid is transformational and ambitious; the projects proposed will provide progressive development across a wide range of assets and capabilities.

“It includes investment into growth of industry and embracing digital and green technology, much of which will cement the critical role that Scunthorpe will play in both the regional and the UK’s economic recovery. It also includes investment into social health and mobility, and investment into a new cultural, arts and heritage offer.

“At the heart of this bid, is the desire to catalyse a transformation here in Scunthorpe that provides opportunities for everyone to grow and prosper. We want to develop an environment that will nurture skills and training, deliver new job opportunities, and deliver a great place to live, work and raise families.”

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