Department of Health and Social Care
Major funding package to level up Blyth
People across Blyth are set to benefit from government investment to level up the town by upgrading poor quality housing, tackling health inequalities, improving access to local jobs and cutting crime.
- Government introduces wide-ranging package of support for Blyth to spread opportunity, boost local pride and level up the town
- £20.7 million to help regenerate run-down housing, reduce health disparities, improve people’s access to local jobs, increase skills training and keep young people off the streets
- Intervention is part of the government’s mission to reduce regional inequalities and level up the North
People across Blyth are set to benefit from significant government investment to level up the town by upgrading poor quality housing, tackling health inequalities, improving access to local jobs and cutting crime – delivering on the Prime Minister’s priorities to grow the economy and spread opportunity across the country.
The wide-ranging package of interventions from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities comes just weeks after the government and local leaders signed the historic North East devolution deal.
Measures announced today include:
- Housing: An £18 million boost will repurpose run-down and empty homes into high-quality affordable housing to rent and convert under-occupied offices into new apartments. Some of the funding will also go towards making social housing more energy-efficient.
- Employment support: Almost £1.5 million will fund new high-tech training equipment at the town’s Energy Central Campus, providing local young people with a route to high-quality jobs on their doorstep.
- Anti-social behaviour: A £200,000 initiative to reduce crime in Blyth including by extending CCTV provision in the town centre and establishing a new partnership between local businesses and the police. These interventions will target anti-social behaviour, substance misuse and theft in particular.
- Health: Government will strengthen local partnerships between Jobcentre Plus and NHS services in Blyth so more disabled people and those with health conditions are supported to start, stay and succeed in work. DHSC is also working with Northumberland Council to support more smokers to quit, complementing the £35 million recently allocated to address health inequalities across the whole of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System over the next 3 years.
Despite its significant economic potential, with thousands of new local jobs expected in its green energy industries in the coming years, Blyth is the most deprived town in Northumberland. It has now been earmarked for millions of pounds of investment to support its transition from a coal exporting town to a leading clean energy port.
With this tailored package, the government aims to tackle the complex barriers holding Blyth back and unlock a major programme of regeneration for the 40,000 people living in the area. It follows similar bespoke packages in Grimsby and Blackpool, and forms part of DLUHC’s ‘deep dive’ programme, working in partnership with local leaders and businesses to target investment and address the unique challenges of deprived towns. As with North East Lincolnshire and Blackpool, Northumberland was one of the areas identified in the Levelling Up White Paper as the most left behind in the country.
The additional funding announced today takes DLUHC’s investment in Blyth to over £56 million since 2019.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:
For too long, Blyth has been deprived of the opportunities to make the most of its startling potential.
Deeply entrenched issues require an ambitious solution, which is why we have worked closely with local leaders on a package of measures that will improve the lives of the local community.
Through revitalising dilapidated housing, upskilling the next generation and cracking down on crime, this town is finally getting the attention and investment it deserves to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
Minister for Employment, Guy Opperman, said:
A £1.5 million boost to Blyth’s job market to help young people secure, stay and succeed in higher quality, better paying jobs in the green energy industry is something close to my heart.
I’m certain these measures will put Blyth on the map as an area of opportunity, growth and prosperity.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said:
This is a significant investment and fantastic news for Blyth. It means we can deliver better homes, improve neighbourhoods and reduce crime in partnership with Northumbria Police, local businesses and the community.
Investment at the Energy Central Campus and additional support to connect NHS services and Job Centre support will help residents to secure jobs in the town’s clean energy industry.
Today’s announcement boosts the multi-million-pound investment already planned through the council’s Energising Blyth Programme and Northumberland Line meaning we can now go further to realise Blyth’s huge potential at the heart of the Northumberland and the North East economy.
Alan Ferguson OBE, Chair of Blyth Town Deal Board and Owner of Ferguson’s Transport, said:
This is a real boost for Blyth helping us to deliver improvements that are much needed. The support will accelerate our work together to grow, renew and connect the town, crucially ensuring that local people are included in the opportunities in the town.
It will galvanise partnership work between the business community, public sector and community partners to deliver real change on issues that are important to the community.
Blyth is already a fantastic town in so many ways and this investment will make it even better as a place to live, work and invest.
This announcement builds on major Government investment to level up Blyth. This includes a £20.9 million Town Deal and over £11 million through the Future High Streets Fund for transport, cultural and regeneration projects.
An additional £4.75 million has helped develop industrial sites in the area, while Northumberland County Council will see £19.1 million through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and £1.4 billion over 30 years through the North East devolution deal.
When combined with other levelling up projects in the wider area, these investments have the potential to bring huge benefits to Blyth.
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