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Spalding Town Board to hold first meeting tonight in bid to decide how to spend ‘left behind town’ Levelling Up money

The new panel tasked with putting together a £20million Levelling Up investment plan for Spalding will be meeting for the first time tonight – and is bidding to turn around the town’s fortunes.

Spalding Town Board will now begin the work of bringing about long-term changes to the town by creating a vision and investment plan of how to spend the ‘left behind town’ money.

Last year the Government announced that Spalding was one of 55 towns which will get a share of a £1.1 billion ‘Levelling Up’ funding pot which aims to ‘provide long-term investment in towns that have been ‘overlooked and taken for granted’ - with community engagement needing to play a pivotal role on how it is spent.

Spalding town centre
Spalding town centre

While the first meeting tonight (Monday, March 25) will not be open to the public, a briefing will be given after the event.

Chairman Robin Hancox, a well-known local businessman, said: “I am looking forward to the meeting and getting the various representatives together and start the very important process, which is going to benefit Spalding and ensure the money is spent wisely.”

The board, which is due to be comprised of between 16 and 18 people – including MP Sir John Hayes – will have the difficult job of compiling a plan which will have to be submitted to the Department of Levelling Up by August.

Items on the agenda include:

- A presentation on the long term plan for towns

- Summary of previous, current and planned activity in Spalding which includes the Castle Sports Complex revamp; National Lottery Heritage Fund, UKSPF work and the Business form along with future bid applications

- Creating the Vision and Investment Plan with theme such as safety and security, heritage and high streets along with transport and connectivity.

This new Spalding board will have to come up with its plan, but the Government has already pinpointed issues that it feels could be ripe for investment from this cash pot when it announced the money.

These include:

• Improving transport and connections to make travel easier for residents and increase visitor numbers in centres to boost opportunities for small businesses and create jobs

• Tackling crime and anti social behaviour to keep residents safe and encourage visitors through better security measures and hotspot policing

• Enhancing town centres to make high streets more attractive and accessible, including repurposing empty shops for new housing, creating more green spaces, cleaning up streets or running market days

Along with the Levelling Up money, the town also received a number of other grants in recent years.

This includes the £250,000 from National Heritage Lottery Fund for the Spalding Reconnected project which aims to celebrate and promote the town and its riverside. As part of this work a heritage strategy for the town was due to be compiled – but so far this has not been released to the public.

What would you like to see included in the investment plan? Tell us your views in the comments below...

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