Skelmersdale not included on list of 100 places eligible for support from £3.6 billion Towns Fund

Skelmersdale not included on list of 100 places eligible for support from £3.6 billion Towns Fund

by Henry James (September 2019)

ROSIE Cooper has criticised the Goverment for failing to include Skelmersdale on a list of 100 places eligible for support from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

The locations invited to develop proposals for a new generation of multi-million-pound Town Deals announced by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick include places with proud “industrial and economic heritage” that have not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up “ambitious plans” to transform their towns’ economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

A total of 45 locations across the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and 30 in the ‘Midlands Engine’ are among the 100 pioneers of the new Town Deals which the Government says is part of its commitment to ‘level up’ all regions by boosting productivity, skills and living standards.

But although the list features neighbouring towns, including Southport, Preston and Blackpool, there was no place for Skelmersdale - leaving West Lancs MP Ms Cooper fuming.

She said: “Predictably, this Conservative Government has ignored Skelmersdale yet again and pours money into areas where they hope to retain or snap up seats in a general election.

“This money spread across the whole country is a pittance when you consider the millions of pounds which West Lancashire residents have lost through cuts in Government grants each year, the Government needs to do better - much better.

“In West Lancashire we need urgent infrastructure investment and community funding in both Ormskirk and Skelmersdale town centres, a railway station in Skelmersdale, reinstatement of the Burscough Curves, new sports centres, investment in schools, roads and the NHS, as well as ongoing funding for policing. The list is endless.

“Constituents will see this bribery for what it is and many will watch to see whether it is ever actually delivered.”

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