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What is the Towns Fund?

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The Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion fund established by the government to level up towns and cities around the country.

The government has invited towns and cities like Preston to develop proposals for a Town Deal in collaboration with their community.

For more information about the scheme visit GOV.UK - Towns Fund Prospectus.

Preston's Towns Fund

Preston is one of the places eligible to apply for this funding. Through the Towns Fund Board we are talking to the public, businesses and other organisations to identify:

  • Which projects will be delivered
  • What funding is required
  • How these projects will fit into the long term City Investment Plan

We need to bring together firm proposals developed in co-ordination with local communities, partners and other stakeholders that will bring a positive impact to the city.

As part of the scheme we are eligible to bid for up to £25 million in funding that will help deliver a huge economic social and cultural benefit to the city.

Have your say - send us comments and ideas

Community engagement is key to this project and the growth of the city and we want to hear from you.

Submit your views and ideas about the themes that make up Preston's City Investment Plan via our online feedback form:

Survey Monkey - have your say

Keep an eye on Visit Preston - Preston Partnership, Facebook - Visit Preston and Twitter - Visit Preston for updates. Use #TownsFund to follow and share ideas.

Who makes up the Towns Fund Strategic Board?

To find out who makes up the Board, plus past agenda documents see Meet the Towns Fund Strategic Board.

How have the Board decided which projects will get funding?

Leaders from across Preston's community have risen to the opportunity that Towns Fund has created and put forward almost thirty projects for consideration. Not all projects will be eligible for this funding, so the board have selected a shortlist.

A process was applied when making their final selection, as the shortlisted projects will form the backbone of Preston's City Investment Plan submission.

Each project was ranked according to a list of critical success factors. These determined how closely each project matched the government's vision for Towns Fund - to drive the sustainable economic regeneration of our towns for long-term economic and productivity growth.

Some projects may also enable Preston to further recover and rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic and attract further private investment to the city.

Shortlisted projects must:

  • be delivered in the 2021 - 2026 timeframe
  • contribute to inclusive growth
  • align with Preston's key strategies and policies

Preston's council has developed a long-term strategic plan for the city and welcomes new ideas and dialogue from all sectors of the community to help achieve their ambitions.

The Preston Towns Fund Board would like to thank each and every project member that has worked so hard over the last few months to submit their project during these very challenging times.

Shortlisted projects

To find out which projects have been put forward for the Towns Fund bid see projects submitted for the Towns Fund bid.

What are the next steps?

On 15 June 2020, the government issued further guidance to the 100 towns that were invited to bid for a capital fund of up to £25 million each. This information can be viewed in the Towns Fund Further Guidance document.

Since the launch of the Towns Fund in July 2019, the UK has seen an unprecedented set of challenges. This has not changed the vision of the Towns Fund: to drive the sustainable economic regeneration of our towns for long-term economic and productivity growth.

Indeed, the Towns Fund welcomes Investment Plans that can demonstrate projects that will help the town to recover and rebound.

About Phase 1

All 100 towns are currently in Phase 1. During this phase, the Investment Plans are invited for submission in three cohorts:

  • July 2020
  • October 2020
  • January 2021

The date of submission is dependent on when it is able to prepare a strong plan. Towns are not in competition with each other.

All towns will have the opportunity to resubmit their plan based on feedback from the Towns Fund Delivery Partners.

About Phase 2

If successful, Preston's City Investment Plan will move to Phase 2, where a detailed programme of projects and business cases will be developed. A decision from the Towns Hub to approve funding will take place at the end of this stage, a duration of approximately 12 months. Final projects will be agreed, and funding released, enabling towns to start projects.

The City of Preston's Town Fund Board have been provided with detailed guidance for both Phase 1 and Phase 2, which is available in the Towns Fund Further Guidance document.

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