Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to a number of frequently asked questions about the Town Fund and the requirements of eligible towns to apply for (up to) £25m of capital investment funding.
You can also find answers to over 50 questions asked and fielded at an online public meeting in January 2021 on our Citizens’ Assembly page.
If you have a question that hasn’t already been asked and answered then please do get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
What is the Town Fund?
The government have offered 101 towns the opportunity to bid for up to £25 million.
Todmorden has been chosen by the government as one of those towns to bid for this investment funding. The objective of the fund set out by government is to drive economic regeneration to deliver long-term sustainable economic and productivity growth.
What is the Town Deal?
The town deal is the agreement made between the government and the Town Deal Board for investment, following the submission of our Town Investment Plan.
What is the Town Deal Board?
The Town Deal Board is made up of people selected by the lead council (Calderdale MBC) to represent the stakeholders of the town.
It consists of 3x Calderdale councillors, 1x Town councillor, 4x members of community groups, 4x members of the private sector, 1x representative from West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the local MP. Profiles of the board members can be found here.
What is the role of the Town Deal Board?
The Town Deal Board has the responsibility to develop the strategy and vision for the town and to develop an evidenced-based business case for bidding for the town Investment fund, by outlining a clear and coherent set of interventions following stakeholder engagement.
What is the role of the Lead Council?
The council’s primary role is acting as the accountable body to government for the funds and governance arrangements of the town deal board. It selected the board members to act as an independent advisory group to enable it to develop and agree the Town Deal with the government. The council provides the practical administration and advice where required to service the board and its functions.
What is a Town Investment Plan (or TIP)?
It is a collective, sustainable plan that we will present to government for a coherent collective set of investments for interventions to regenerate the town and improve the economy.
Will Todmorden automatically get the £25 million?
No, we have to bid for the funds based on projects proposed to the board and collectively put forward in a Town Investment Plan (TIP).
Has it already been decided what the £25m will be spent on?
The town deal board has been selecting project proposals since August 2020 and will be open to receive more proposals until 30th November 2020.
The board will then develop the town investment plan. This plan will focus on the three key themes set out by the government for the fund:
- Urban regeneration, planning and land use
- Skills and enterprise infrastructure
- Connectivity – transport (roads, buses, cycling, walking) and digital connectivity like broadband
Some projects have been rejected as they do not fit with the requirements of the scheme, some will proceed to be considered for inclusion in the Town Investment Plan for funding, some will proceed to considered for support through different funding sources, such as that from other government departments or community grant schemes.
Does the whole TIP bid have to be accepted to get any funds?
The town fund offer from the government is “up to” £25 million.
Some elements of the TIP may be approved by government whilst others may not be judged as acceptable. So that shouldn’t mean we get no funds at all.
What is capacity funding?
The council has received £140,000 ‘capacity funding’ to prepare for the town deal and to deliver the following:
- Convene Town Deal Board
- Run business and wider community engagement events
- Develop Town the Investment Plan
- Commission technical expertise for business case development.
How were projects selected for inclusion into the TIP?
All project ideas, suggestions and contributions are tested against the government’s criteria & guidelines for Regeneration, Skills provision and Connectivity. We must ensure that they are viable and sustainable.
Proposals must either:
- Address urban regeneration, planning and land use: ensuring towns are thriving places for people to live and work, including by: increasing density in town centres; strengthening local economic assets including local cultural assets; site acquisition, remediation, preparation, regeneration; and making full use of planning tools to bring strategic direction and change.
- Provide Skills and enterprise infrastructure: driving private sector investment and ensuring towns have the space to support skills and small business development.
- Develop local transport schemes that complement regional and national networks, as well as supporting the delivery of improved digital connectivity
- Show a sustainable self-sufficient level of income generation. the ability to provide future core running costs
- Sit within the defined investment boundary, as highlighted within the red line on the Boundary Map
- Have demonstrable public support (Stakeholder engagement)
The final submission date for proposals fitting these criteria was 30th November 2020.
How will local people be involved and consulted?
The Town Deal board includes members from the local community, business, and other partners committed to improving Todmorden.
The town has been widely consulted over the last 15 years with stakeholder engagements going back to the Yorkshire Forward renaissance project. There have been a number of consultations on improving the town centre around Rose Street and Bramsche Square. More recently there has been engagement on the Neighbourhood Plan and on the use of the former technical college.
We are of course in unprecedented times where traditional methods of engagement (workshops, open days and street surveys) are not possible.
The board will endeavour to engage with the community on newer proposals but that may be limited to digital communications. And therefore my not be as inclusive as we would all like.
A stakeholder engagement plan is being developed and as projects are developed over the duration of the programme of regeneration and intervention.
Opportunities for further stakeholder engagement will become available and the board will ensure consultation will take place as and when required.