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Blackpool's Waterloo Road and Bond Street region

Volume 748: debated on Friday 19 April 2024

The petition of residents of the constituency of Blackpool South,

Declares that the Government and Blackpool Council should consider the need for regeneration funding to be provided for the area surrounding Waterloo Road and Bond Street in Blackpool.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take into account the concerns of the petitioners and take immediate action to ensure that residents and business are adequately supported through relevant regeneration funds, and to ensure the Government works with Blackpool Council to ensure comprehensive plans to develop plans are prepared in conjunction with local stakeholders.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Scott Benton, Official Report, 19 February 2024; Vol. 745, c. 560.]


Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (Jacob Young):

Since the Government announced their commitment to work in partnership with Blackpool Council in March 2022, a concerted effort between Blackpool, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Homes England and other Government Departments has worked to ensure Blackpool has the right housing, economic and skills offer to achieve its vision to “Make Blackpool Better”—to be a great place to live and work, and to be one of the leading seaside destinations in the UK.

We also recognise that the local council, with all its local knowledge and understanding, is clearly the best placed organisation to take responsibility for, and deliver, many programmes locally.

I visited Blackpool in January and got the opportunity to see some of the fantastic work currently being undertaken locally to improve the standards of homes in the town, with Government support.

Blackpool has received more than £100 million of levelling-up funding since 2019, as well as the £40 million DLUHC-funded court relocation project, releasing Ministry of Justice-occupied land and safeguarding a £300 million private sector-led scheme set to bring up to 1,000 jobs to the town while also providing the town with a new modern courthouse.

Levelling-up funding includes £40 million from round 2 of the levelling-up fund to create a state-of-the-art learning centre called the “Multiversity” for over 1,000 people, which will replace the ageing Blackpool and the Fylde College facilities with new state-of-the-art facilities in the town centre. Another £15 million from round 3 of the fund will improve traffic flow, access to public transport, and infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

The town is benefiting from nearly £40 million of investment from our towns fund which is being spent on a host of job-creating, tourism-boosting projects.

To unlock Blackpool’s economic potential, there is a need for more and safer homes in well-designed neighbourhoods, which help attract and retain skilled residents in the town.

The Renters (Reform) Bill will apply a decent homes standard to the private rented sector for the first time. This will ensure tenants benefit from homes that are safe and decent, and support the Government’s ambition to reduce the number of non-decent rented homes by 50% by 2030. The decent homes standard will help landlords by simplifying and clarifying requirements and establishing a level playing field, backed up by consistent enforcement.

A pilot for the decent homes standard is running in Blackpool to improve standards in areas that are in greatest need as part of our mission to halve the number of non-decent homes by 2030.

Since 2021 Blackpool has been awarded:

£55,400,000 in levelling-up fund money (round 2—£40 million from January 2023 and round 3—£15.4 million from November 2023)

£90 million regeneration investment

£8,000,000 in capital regeneration project funding

£5,885,134 in UK shared prosperity fund funding

£778,638 in community renewal funding and

£39,500,000 town deal funding.