King George's Hall, Blackburn with Darwen Council, p Blackburn with Darwen Council

King George's Hall will receive £8m from the £20.3m Levelling Up Partnership pot for accessibility improvements and other upgrades. Credit: via Blackburn with Darwen Council

Blackburn outlines £20.3m Levelling Up Partnership spend

An upgrade for King George’s Hall and a 5,000 sq ft manufacturing business accelerator are two of nine schemes set to receive central government funds promised in March.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s £20.3m Levelling Up Partnership was formally announced at the Convention of the North by secretary of state Michael Gove.

At the time, Gove briefly touched on a few of the projects that would receiving funding through the programme. Now, Blackburn with Darwen Council has released more detail on how much each project will receive.

The £20.3m breaks down to:

  • £8m – King George’s Hall maintenance and accessibility improvements.
  • £3.5m – Blackburn town centre acquisitions and conversions of key buildings, including Bridge House, to make community business and cultural areas.
  • £2m – Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s low-carbon business accelerator creation. This 5,000 sq ft innovation hub would be linked to Sheffield University and AMRC’s 11,700 sq ft additive manufacturing accelerator in Darwen. Read more.
  • £1.5m – Cyber and digital skills training facility creation at Blackburn College’s campus.
  • £1.5m – Tony’s Empress Ballroom work to make building accessible and compliant with current building standards. This will help the facility reopen as a community space.
  • £1.5m – The Cotton Exchange redevelopment. Money will be invested in charity Re:Source’s £9m plans to create community spaces, work areas, exhibition spaces, and improved food and drink offerings in the historic building. These plans were approved in February. Read more.
  • £1m – Imperial Mill regeneration acceleration. The money will be used to help jumpstart the project, which is still in its early phases. Plans have been submitted for the demolition of parts of the mill that are deemed structurally unsafe. Read more.
  • £1m – Little Harwood and Bastwell multi-use games area upgrades and an investment programme for Corporation Park.
  • £300,000 – Hive Business Network support to help broaden the council’s capacity to engage with local businesses.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has received more than £125m from central government in recent years. In addition to the partnership programme listed here, the council has secured £20m for transport link improvements and another £20m for a skills and education campus from the Levelling Up Fund. A further £25m was locked in for Darwen through the Towns Fund. Read more about Blackburn with Darwen’s successful government bids.

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