King George's Hall, p Blackburn and Darwen Council

King George's Hall, Blackburn. Credit: via council.

Blackburn with Darwen levelling up funding reaches £125m

The council has received further support from the government with £20m from the levelling up partnership announced by secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove.

This takes the grand total to more than £125m and at the heart of the bid for this tranche is £8m to renovate King George’s Hall – part of Blackburn’s £50m cultural quarter.

There will also be new investment for the likes of Tony’s Ballroom, The Exchange, and Imperial Mill.

Money has also been secured for Blackburn College to deliver new cyber and digital skills opportunities, a pioneering AMRC development in Darwen, and a cash injection to support the re-purposing of local business support networks.

Leader of the council, Cllr Phil Riley, said: “After a tremendous amount of work in developing a really strong investment package for our borough, the government has today announced £20m of new levelling up funding for us which is just brilliant.

“This comes on the back of the council being named a government Levelling Up partner in the budget last year and tops up the £40m we secured in 2023.

“Added to that, we have the Darwen Town Deal, the money we secured through the youth investment fund, the UKSPF and more recently the chance to secure a further £20m for Darwen, as part of the long term plan for towns initiative, with more to come on completion of our Devo Deal with government too.”

In recent years, Blackburn with Darwen has secured:

  • £20m of levelling up funding for a new skills, education and cyber zone– part of the £250m Blackburn town centre masterplan – the  largest town centre regeneration scheme of its type in the whole region on the former Thwaites site.
  • £20m of levelling up funding for transport linksin and around Haslingden Road, including much-needed improvements to J5 of the M65
  • £25m for the Darwen Town Deal– now worth £100m with council and private investment
  • £8m through the Youth Investment Fund to transform facilities for children and young people across the borough – the most awarded to any one place in the country last summer
  • £6m through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund– helping to support communities and place, local businesses, people and skills
  • The chance to bid for up to £20m through the government’s long-term plan for towns, for Darwen – a business case for that is set to be submitted this summer
  • The government has also announced £116m of new funding for transport priorities across the borough too.

The council says more details about how the funding will be spent will be announced once the details are finalised with the government.


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This ambitious Council seems to be doing very well in difficult circumstances, this investment alongside the progressive local plan which encourages new housing and job development should pay dividends and deliver real growth

By George

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