Published: Thursday, 14th Dec 2023

A new funding deal will empower Bolton Council to take greater control of government funding for regeneration projects.

Building Dec 2023The council has been confirmed as one of ten authorities to take part in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ new Simplification Pathfinder Pilot.

The scheme brings together different government funding pots and gives councils greater flexibility on how projects are managed, and how money is spent.

Over recent years, Bolton Council has successfully bid for grants from the Levelling Up Fund, The Future Highstreets Fund, and the Towns Fund.

Each funding stream has its own regulations covering finance, timescales and how progress is reported back to central government.

Participation in the pilot will give the council greater freedom to manage its own work, allowing the separate funding pots to be considered as a single, wider regeneration plan.

In practice, this means budget underspends on certain projects can be moved across to support other developments.

The streamlined process will also free up the council’s regeneration team to focus on the successful delivery of projects.

To secure a place on the pilot scheme, the council had to submit a robust investment plan and demonstrate continued collaboration and support from key partners.

Bolton Council’s Leader, Cllr Nick Peel, said:

“This is a clear vote of confidence in Bolton’s ability to successfully deliver major regeneration projects.

“I strongly believe in local decision making, and this pilot scheme will empower us to have an even greater say on how money is spent in Bolton.

“It is great news for Bolton residents who will benefit from even more effective management of the funding we have worked hard to secure from government grants.”

Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Akhtar Zaman, said:

“Bolton has been remarkably successful in securing grants from central government.

“That money is already funding a wide range of projects from the Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences, the market refurbishment and library transformation to the transformation of Farnworth and the creation of a digital innovation hub in the town centre.

“This pilot scheme will make managing these different funding pots much easier, allowing for a more joined-up approach to place shaping that will deliver even greater benefits for our residents.”