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The Government have yesterday, 18 January, announced Hyndburn Borough Council’s bid to the Levelling Up Fund has been successful, with the full amount being awarded.

Hyndburn’s Levelling Up Fund bid totals £20m. With £3.5 million of match funding from Hyndburn Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, plus the recent UK Shared Prosperity Fund bid success. This takes the total funding secured for Hyndburn to over £26 million since December 2022. A further £50 million has also been awarded to Lancashire County Council, of which £18 million is expected for Hyndburn.

[Cllr Parkinson and MP Sara Britcliffe outside Accrington Market Hall in summer 2022]

Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council said:

“I am sure everyone will join me in celebrating this wonderful news. Thanks to the hard work of Hyndburn Council officers, our partnership board, expert consultants and lobbying from our MP we have secured this substantial investment into Accrington. The Levelling Up Fund will allow us to begin work to transform our Town Square in the heart of Hyndburn into a hub for shopping, food, events and culture. This is just the beginning; we are continually working on bringing more investment and funding to our borough that will benefit all of Hyndburn. 

“Over the next few years people will see the work ongoing to use this funding, creating a sustainable and exciting town for future generations to enjoy. We will be sharing updates and information about plans over the coming months, so please do follow these exciting developments to hear first-hand what is coming to Hyndburn.”

Hyndburn’s Partnership Board agreed a vision for Accrington Town Centre, alongside a strategic investment plan, in early 2022. This plan detailed interventions to promote future growth and prosperity for Hyndburn. Three of these interventions were selected to form the basis for Hyndburn Borough Council’s bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The three projects listed in Hyndburn’s Levelling Up Fund Bid are: Accrington Market Hall, Market Chambers and Burton’s Chambers. The market hall will be refurbished and transformed into a food and drink destination for local people and to entice visitors from across the country. The Market Chambers building, opposite the Market Hall, would be acquired, refurbished, and repaired – with a future view to transform it into a cultural, arts and heritage venue. Burtons Chambers building, opposite the Town Hall, would be acquired and restored to become a co-working space for businesses and events to utilise.

[Burtons Chamber – Artists impression]

David Sanderson MBE DL, Chair of Hyndburn’s Partnership Board and CEO of the Rank Foundation, said:

“I am incredibly proud to have been part of the journey to secure this vital funding for Hyndburn. The Partnership Board has steered this work throughout the past year and this successful Levelling Up Bid is a testament to their commitment and dedication. 

“It is through combining decades of local knowledge, expertise from all sectors and input from consultants that it has been possible. This money is the start of long-term transformation for Accrington, then Hyndburn, and I am looking forward to seeing the vision for the town begin to take shape over the next few years.”

Cllr Marlene Haworth, Leader of the Conservatives Group, said:

“What wonderful news for our borough! I am particularly looking forward to seeing this funding used to transform the Market Hall, a place which holds great personal significance for me. Our Market Hall is the jewel in Accrington’s crown and making sure it is suitable for future generations, whilst still being in-keeping with our traditional market town history, has always been a priority for me. 

“I am very pleased that the Market Hall transformation is one of the three projects that will be undertaken using this funding. This investment from Central Government is an opportunity for us to level-up and I am sure will bring great pride to Accrington, in turn supporting the wider townships with more visitors and interest in all we have to offer in Hyndburn.”

Cllr Munsif Dad BEM JP, Leader of the Labour Group, said:

“I would like to thank all those involved in securing this funding which is much needed for our borough. I am very pleased to hear that the proposed timeline for completion of the three interventions in Accrington is March 2025, which means works will be starting very quickly! The UK Shared Prosperity fund, which has also been secured, will perfectly compliment these works to the newly renovated buildings with a cultural and events programme on offer for everyone to enjoy.”

Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn, said: 

“The successful levelling up fund and UK Shared prosperity fund bids are a fantastic example of what happens when we work together.

“Hyndburn has a rich heritage that we want to build on and embrace for a prosperous future. Our borough has been disproportionately impacted for many years and now is our time. Over the past 12 months leaders across all the sectors in Hyndburn have come together, taken the guidance from experts, and worked collaboratively with the council to create a vision which starts with Accrington and will lead the way for plans across all towns.

“A huge amount has been achieved in a short time, including establishing a town centre partnership board, a cultural and heritage investment board and submitting various funding bids and expressions of interest. At the core of this work is the people of Hyndburn and ensuring that plans make sure we improve our town centres and make them into the vibrant community hubs that they once were. I have consistently lobbied for the over £20 million of Government support and I am glad that, by working together, we have been successful.

“I am very excited to see these plans begin to take shape in Accrington and this success leading to more positive change across the borough.”

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for Economic Development and growth said:  

“Lancashire County Council has worked closely with Hyndburn Borough Council in support of a range of economic development and regeneration initiatives and these proposals will help realise further benefits from investment that we have already made. This local Levelling Up bid aligns strongly with Lancashire’s broader economic and regeneration and will transform the area, and drive footfall and spend in the Town Centre, making it a thriving and successful modern market town.

“To support the success of these schemes, Lancashire County Council has allocated £1m match funding from its Lancashire Levelling Up Investment Fund. We have been working closely with Hyndburn Borough Council on further proposals in the town centre, integral to the ‘Accrington Acre’ programme, supported through the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Programme and have also allocated £0.5m match funding, from our Lancashire Economic Recovery & Growth fund subject to approval of a final business case, towards the LUF interventions.”

Tom Lees, Managing Director of Bradshaw Advisory said:

“We have been privileged to work with Hyndburn Council and wider stakeholders for over a year on the crucial transformation plans for Accrington town centre.

“Hyndburn has all the essential ingredients needed for a successful regeneration and to transform itself and the lives of residents for the better: a committed council, cross-party support, passionate stakeholders, transformational capital funding and a clear vision, strategy and way forward. “The transformation will take time and – as with all large and complex projects – will have ups and downs, but in the long term I am confident in the town’s success and future.”

The Levelling Up Fund success fires the starting gun on a multi-year transformation programme and clearly shows that Accrington and Hyndburn mean business.”

Further details about Hyndburn’s Levelling Up Fund bid can be found here:

Summary document of the Levelling Up Fund Bid