In September 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published its selection of 101 towns and cities across England that it regarded as struggling economically. It invited them to develop proposals for a Town Deal – a plan to increase economic growth, with a focus on regeneration, improved transport, better broadband connectivity, skills and culture. Each selected town and city can bid for up to £25 million from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The Ministry expects relevant local authorities to have put in place a Town Deal Board by the end of January 2020, and to develop a Town Investment Plan by Summer 2020. Each Board should comprise representatives of all tiers of local government, local MPs, local businesses and investors, Local Enterprise Partnerships and local communities, led by a representative of the local business community.
This review will examine the process for the selection of the towns and cities invited to bid for funding from the Fund, including the selection criteria used, the assessments for the 101 towns and cities selected, and for those considered and rejected.