Swindon has been awarded £1 million to accelerate the Kimmerfields regeneration project. The money is being awarded through the government's Towns Fund scheme, with Swindon receiving the largest sum available.
Late last year Swindon was named as one of 101 places given the opportunity by the government to bid for funding as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
Aan independent board of public, private and voluntary sector representatives including those from Swindon Borough Council, community groups, and public sector organisations such as Network Rail and Historic England was established to identify projects for regeneration in the event of the application being successful.
On Friday (September 25) the government announced that Swindon was one of 101 towns UK-wide, and nine in the South West – to benefit from the fund.
Bournemouth also gets £1 million while Bridgwater, Camborne, Torquay and Truro will each get £750,000 and Glastonbury, Penzance and St Ives have been awarded £500,000.
The funding will be used to support projects that will make a difference to the area, such as new green spaces, the creation of pop-up businesses spaces, pedestrianising streets to encourage walking or cycling and creating of new community hubs to support those living alone.
Swindon's share of the initial £80 million pot will be spent on the regeneration of the Kimmerfields area of the town. The money will be used to accelerate the Kimmerfields regeneration project, enabling works such as site investigations and clearance, design and contracting of site access, and reinforcing utilities infrastructure.
A decision on whether a Swindon will receive as further £25 million for the scheme is expected later in the year.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for the town centre, said: “Just before submitting the bid for £25m of government funding to support seven projects, including refurbishment of the Health Hydro, a further £1m became available from government if we could prove there was a credible proposal that would accelerate our projects and help make them shovel ready.
“With the Board’s support, the Council’s proposal on Kimmerfields was accepted, and I am very pleased that our lobbying with MPs has seen the full £1m arrive in the Council’s bank account this week. Cranes and diggers arrived in August for the first new office development in 20 years in the town centre, and this £1m should lay the foundation for the next set of cranes and diggers to arrive. I hope this is a sign that the Board will be successful in its bid for £25m from the Towns Fund, and shows that Swindon is bouncing back.”