The button has been pressed on submission of a £15million-plus Levelling Up Fund bid which will transform Stroud’s gateways, connections and key cultural and heritage sites.
Yesterday evening (Thursday, June 9) Stroud District Council Strategy and Resources Committee approved making a bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund by the July 6 deadline.
The bid has the backing of key partners and includes:
- Gateway Spaces – The rejuvenation and transformation of key spaces into attractive destinations to increase vitality and prosperity for residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses. Places for people to spend time and feel a sense of pride in the town:
Transformation of Wallbridge green space
Sub Rooms Town Square
Creation of 11 new affordable business incubator units in Five Valleys Shopping Centre
Purchase of brownfield land for the development of homes
• Connections – Making it easier, healthier and safer for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users to access all the town has to offer and to support the transition to a low carbon lifestyle, aligning with the Councils commitment to carbon 2030. Improving the connectivity to the routes along the valleys to the wider district:
Improved pedestrian and cycle routes around Wallbridge
Improvements to the end of the Nailsworth to Stroud cycle route at Bath Road, Rodborough
Improvements for cyclists and pedestrians around the town centre
Brunel Mall – opening up the car park to the station to add additional station car parking and reducing the traffic in the town centre
Improved bus information and facilities
•Cultural Landmarks – Enhancing heritage and making venues inclusive and accessible to all, nurturing and realising their full potential and celebrating local distinctiveness to create a vibrant arts scene that supports the visitor economy:
Ramped access and internal improvements to: Lansdown Hall, Subscription Rooms and Brunel Goods Shed.
Stroud District Council Leader Doina Cornell said after the meeting: “We know that Stroud is one of, if not the best place in the UK to live, work and visit. We can see the potential the town has to be even greater, with Levelling Up Fund investment.
“We want people coming in to the town centre to have gateways that welcome and invite. Our bid honours Stroud’s past by preserving its historical and cultural identity, it addresses the needs of the present and opens our town up to all.
“It secures the future for visitors and the vital economy they bring, for the businesses who can see the potential the town has and what it can offer and to the people who choose to live here in years to come and continue to make Stroud the best place to live.”
Bid criteria means some improvements could not be included but Stroud District Council is working with key stakeholders in a LUF Task Force including the Stroud MP, Stroud Town Council, Network Rail, Great Western Railway, Stroud & District Chamber of Trade, Gloucestershire County Council, and GFirst LEP to achieve some big improvements in and around the town centre which will also benefit the wider area.
The Levelling Up Fund (LUF) was launched in March 2021 with £4.8 billion to invest in high value local infrastructure across the UK. It encourages bidders to invest in infrastructure which has the potential to improve lives by: giving people pride in their local communities; bringing more places across the UK closer to opportunity; and demonstrating that government can visibly deliver against the diverse needs of all places and all geographies.
This second round of the Fund will focus on the same three investment themes as the first round: local transport projects that make a genuine difference to local areas; town centre and high street regeneration; and support for maintaining and expanding the UK’s world-leading portfolio of cultural and heritage assets.
The bid for Stroud reflects this focus and the projects have been selected carefully to ensure a close alignment with the aims of the Fund.
To find out more about the bid, please visit www.stroud.gov.uk/environment/levelling-up-fund-bid