The chair of a body hoping to attract £25 million of Government investment into Nuneaton has praised the work going into the bid during “the most pressing economic times we have known”.
Sean Farnell, a locally-based accountant, is one of 17 members of the My Town Nuneaton Board which is leading the bid for funding from the Government’s Towns Fund initiative after ideas and projects across five key areas were drawn up in consultation with local people and stakeholders.
There is up to £25 million available for each town to help with projects that will deliver transformation to towns across England. This is part of the Government’s commitment to ‘level up’ all regions across the country.
In order to compete for the funding, a bid has to be created to form a shortlist of projects that could be put forward, and Nuneaton is now hoping to table its bid before the end of the year.
Farnell, who is a partner of Burgis & Bullock in the town, heads the board which is made up of business representatives, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Councillors, Warwickshire County Councillors and representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Warwickshire CAVA, the health sector and community.
He said that the level of work done by volunteers – as well as officers preparing the bid – underlined the commitment to improve the town.
“We are going through some of the most pressing economic times we have known and there are massive strains on businesses and organisations, yet during that time when priorities very close to home have had to take precedence, people have really come together and put in a tremendous amount of work because they realise the impact this investment could have for the town.
“Quite a few of the board either run or work in their own businesses, or, in the case of councillors, have to work on maintaining vital services for the community, yet they have dedicated serious amounts of time and commitment to this process.
“It is easy to sit back and complain about things, but it takes people to step up and, often, to force change for things to improve and I feel that is happening across the board in Nuneaton with a series of initiatives and certainly it is the case with My Town.
“I think everyone on the board, whether private or public sector, are fired up by the fact that we all see the potential which lies in Nuneaton and want to ensure that is realised for local people and business to ensure it has a prosperous future.
“Understandably when there is so much money at stake, it is a very rigorous process, but we are now beginning to hit the home straight.
“We have had people working in task and finish groups around the themes and they have now reported their findings and that is being fed into the submission.”