A multi-million pound bid has been submitted to government for projects which will help make Harlow a better place to live, work, visit and learn.
Harlow Growth Board, a partnership of local public, private and voluntary organisations, have submitted the Towns Fund bid which aims to get government support and funding towards the following projects:
- Harlow Town Centre – there are three projects to improve the transport links and connectivity in the town centre. This includes improving public spaces to make the town centre feel safer and more attractive and a new transport and commercial hub in Terminus Street replacing the existing bus station.
- Staple Tye regeneration - improving Staple Tye neighbourhood through providing new workspace for businesses , creating new jobs.
- Cambridge Road and Riverway junction - developing the Templefields Enterprise Zone through improving access via a new Cambridge Road and River Way junction.
- Institute of Technology - improving local skills opportunities through Harlow College’s plans for the Institute of Technology focussed on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The projects will be matched funded by Harlow Council, private sector contributions, other government fund schemes, and Town Fund partners such as Essex County Council and Harlow College.
These projects have been based upon a great deal of town centre consultation, wider economic and regeneration plans and the recent feedback through the government’s MyTown initiative.
In late 2019 Harlow was one of 101 towns across the country that could apply for up to £25 million from the Government’s Towns Fund. The council has already secured £1m from the fund, which will be invested in improvements to Harlow town centre.
The government’s Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion fund created to help develop towns and cities and recover from the impact of COVID-19. The government expect this to be achieved through investment in urban regeneration, skills and enterprise infrastructure and connectivity.
The Towns Fund bid submission follows the council’s work and bid to the Future High Streets Fund which is also focussed on the town centre, as well as a bid to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership for the Getting Building Fund to accelerate the Harlow Science Park development.
Councillor Mark Ingall, Leader of Harlow Council, said:
“There has been a real partnership approach to developing these projects and making this Towns Fund submission. I would like to thank our staff and our partners who have been involved in producing such a strong bid, which I very much hope is supported by the government. We have already secured £1m from this fund and at the end of July we also submitted a bid to the Future High Streets Fund to support the regeneration of Harlow town centre with proposals to improve Market Square and Playhouse Square. Together all of this funding will make a real difference to our town, creating job and training opportunities for residents and supporting businesses over the coming years as our town recovers from coronavirus pandemic. We continue to work with Growth Board partners and government to pursue other regeneration opportunities to secure an exciting future for Harlow.”
Dr John Keddie, Chair of the Harlow Growth Board, said:
“Our Town Investment Plan is something that we are very proud of. Our plan has the backing of all of the Growth Board members who are working together to ensure the Harlow gets the very best deal it can from government. A lot of work and detail has gone into developing these proposals which we believe will make Harlow a better place to live, work, visit and learn. These projects will support and work alongside other game changing projects for Harlow such as Harlow & Gilston Garden Town, the Public Health Science Campus, the new hospital and Harlow Enterprise Zone. By working together we have assessed each project based on the needs of businesses and residents.
“Harlow, with its location at the heart of the UK Innovation Corridor between London and Cambridge and planned growth as part of a Garden Town, makes it a great investment opportunity. Not only would the regeneration of Harlow benefit our own town’s recovery it would benefit the recovery of the eastern region too.”
Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:
“Essex County Council are very supportive of the Towns Fund submission for Harlow. The Town Investment Plan provides a strong vision and will bring economic regeneration to Harlow and provide skills and jobs to Harlow residents, support social inclusion and maximise the opportunity to leverage major investments. We look forward to continuing to work with the community and local stakeholders to take forward the Towns Fund bid and the many opportunities it offers.”
The Harlow Growth Board expects to hear later this year on how the bid has done and what projects will be supported.