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Pilot Town Deal

Volume 635: debated on Tuesday 30 January 2018

11. What progress his Department is making on developing a pilot town deal as outlined in the industrial strategy. (903622)

I am delighted that the industrial strategy White Paper commits to considering a town deal for Grimsby, which I know has been warmly received by my hon. Friend. I welcome the strong public-private approach to driving forward ambitious plans for the regeneration of Grimsby. The Department and the project board are in close contact on the detail of this deal, and I hope that we will have a proposal for consideration in the very near future.

I thank the Minister for his reply, and I would point out that this deal also includes Cleethorpes—it is for Greater Grimsby. I know that discussions are continuing at official level, but I would welcome an opportunity for the Minister to meet representatives of the project board in the new future, so that we can give some political clout to this deal, which could provide a pilot for many provincial towns up and down the country.

I would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend and members of the Greater Grimsby—including Cleethorpes—project board either as soon as I am able to leave Westminster or in Westminster. I encourage my hon. Friend to organise a meeting here so as not to lose any time in holding this important engagement—and if he wants to bring some local fish and chips, that would be fine.

The hon. Member for Cleethorpes (Martin Vickers) will know that Great Grimsby is obviously the centre of the universe, certainly in northern Lincolnshire. This project is really important, and it is essential to improving jobs, skills, housing and culture in my constituency of Great Grimsby. It does seem to have been ping-ponged between the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Who is taking the lead, how much will the Government commit to ensuring its success and when will my very patient constituents start to see the change that they deserve?

I assure the hon. Lady that I am not a ping-ponger, and this shows the Government working together. We will continue to work together, and I will take responsibility for making sure this happens as soon as is possible.