So far in 2019 I’ve been writing about the opportunities that lie ahead for our area in 2019, writes Ben Bradley MP.
One of them is support to regenerate our town centres.
Over the course of the last year I have been talking to Ministers about the challenges we face to attract businesses, to keep people visiting, and to deal with anti-social behaviour amongst other things.
After months of pressure from myself and colleagues, in the Budget the Government announced a fund of £675 million to be made available to support high street improvement, known as the Future High Streets Fund.
In these first weeks of 2019 the fund has now opened for bids and I’ve sent the full details over to Mansfield Council so that they have every opportunity to access the cash.
What is vital now is that the council can pull together a positive plan and vision for the town something that I and many others have been calling for over many months.
The funding focuses on a number of areas from physical changes to buying property and infrastructure, to improving local transport or introducing new technology.
There is huge scope to make major steps forward using this cash.
I know what I would do, and I’ve shared my thoughts regularly with the council but now they need to get something down on paper, fully costed and thought-through.
The bids with the best chance of success are those that are closest to being ‘spade-ready’, and that can evidence the need.
The second part shouldn’t be hard, but the council have work to do to be able to clearly show they have an idea that will work.
This is a big opportunity for Mansfield to get a leg-up from Government, and the council can be at the front of the queue.
I hope that their minds will be focused on making the most of this chance over the coming weeks.