£100,000 boost for Knutton as Labour’s regeneration legacy pays off
One of Newcastle’s priority areas for regeneration is to receive a further £100,000 boost thanks to the legacy of Labour’s long-term commitment to helping local communities in our area.
Newcastle MP Paul Farrelly said he was delighted that homes and shops will now be refurbished in Knutton with dedicated funding from Renew North Staffordshire, the regeneration programme launched by the last Labour Government.
The initiative, aimed at improving the appearance of the main Knutton High Street, follows a £2 million programme of refurbishment of traditional terraces, originally built for metalworkers, in the village.
Apprentices working for PM Training, under the auspices of Aspire housing, will now work with contractors to repaint and render shops and residential properties, create additional car parking and plant trees.
Since 2004, Renew has invested around £25 million in Knutton and Cross Heath to carry out much-needed improvements to houses and the environment.
Work on the latest scheme will start before Christmas and be completed in the spring before ‘ring-fenced’ regeneration funding comes to an end under coalition government cuts.
From next April, the government is to abolish regeneration agencies which have co-ordinated work locally over the last decade – Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, and the North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership, which included Renew.
So-called Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will take over responsibility instead, but will not have automatic funding, being forced to bid to Whitehall for money.
“Major investment has taken place in Knutton and Cross Heath in recent years,’ Paul said.
“The latest scheme at Knutton will not only benefit local residents and businesses but will also secure opportunities for apprentices employed locally to develop their skills.
“It’s important, though, that the momentum that was started under Labour is not sacrificed by the austerity measures now being pursued by the present Government.’
‘The task is nowhere near completed traditional manufacturing and former mining areas such as Newcastle and Staffordhire.
‘Local people rightly expect that the new Local Enterprise Partnerships will deliver further improvements so that the job goes on and the achievements of the last few years are not squandered,” Paul added.