BURTON Albion Chairman Ben Robinson MBE has been invited to chair a new board that will create a vision for investment in the town of Burton-upon-Trent.
In September 2019 it was announced that Burton had been selected by the government as one of 100 pioneer towns that had been given the opportunity to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of a new £3.6 billion “Town Deals” fund.
This funding can be used to redevelop buildings and land, drive private sector investment by supporting small businesses and ensure young people have the skills they need to get good jobs. Communities will also be able to consider how they can boost their transport links and increase connectivity.
A Town Deal Board has been created for Burton and includes representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors brought together to develop bespoke Town Investment Plans. These plans will provide a clear vision for building on Burton’s unique strengths to transform its economic growth prospects and form the basis of negotiations with the government.
The Burton Town Deal Board is made of the following members:
- Ben Robinson MBE, Chairman of the Town Deal board (Businessman, Chairman of Burton Albion FC and Chairman Burton Consolidated Charities)
- Shaid Hussain (Businessman with businesses inside the Town Centre area)
- Mick Clifford (Burton Civic Society)
- Valerie Burton (Secretary, Burton Civic Society and Trustee of the National Brewery Museum)
- David Chadfield/Peter Hardingham (General Managers for Coopers Square and Octagon Shopping Centres)
- Chris Plant (Director, Burton Chamber of Commerce)
- Cllr Duncan Goodfellow (Leader of the Council, ESBC)
- Cllr George Allen (Deputy Leader ESBC, Regeneration and Planning Policy; and GBSLEP Board member as well as SLLEP board member elect)
- Cllr Philip Atkins (Leader of SCC and SSLEP board member)
- Cllr Philip White (Cabinet member for Learning and Employability)
- Kate Griffiths, Member of Parliament for Burton & Uttoxeter
- Two Parish Council representatives
The Board will also be supported by a wider group that will include organisations such as education providers like Burton and South Derbyshire College, the three National Centres, large businesses, appropriate Government agencies and other key stakeholders such as Trent & Dove Housing. In the future, there may be additional appointments to the Town Deal Board and there will be consultation opportunities for residents and communities to provide their opinions.
Ben Robinson, Chair of the Town Deal Board for Burton upon Trent, said: “With the challenges facing the local, national and global economy it’s important that the Burton business community grasps the opportunity offered by the Stronger Towns Fund.
“Funding can unlock the potential for businesses to grow, enabling them to increase productivity, create jobs and benefit their local suppliers – all of which helps to create a virtuous circle of growth.
“The Stronger Towns Fund puts the focus on removing the key barriers to growth by targeting infrastructure investment, skills training, transport connectivity and digital connections.
“Small towns have been in danger of missing out on investment and not being able to provide the right support structure for growth, which makes it all the more important to make the most of being selected for the Stronger Towns Fund.
“Key strategies must be to engage all parties in the community because by working together we are stronger.
“We must listen and take on board the opinions of businesses and job creators and we most focus on creating jobs and enhancing the prosperity of the town and its residents.
“Investing in businesses has the knock-on effect of benefiting the wider community and creating a healthier Burton upon Trent which can then look towards a prosperous future."
Cllr George Allen Deputy Leader for Regeneration and Planning Policy at East Staffordshire Borough Council added: “I’m delighted that Burton upon Trent has been selected as one of the 100 towns that will benefit from the Government’s “Towns Deal” fund.
“It is welcome news that Burton’s potential for economic growth has been recognised on a national stage and this is a fantastic opportunity, which will allow partners from the public and private sector, to work together to “level up” Burton in a way which may not have been possible before”.
The Town Deal Board will continue to meet in the New Year as it works towards creating the Town Deal. More information relating to the progress of the Town Deal programme and future consultation events will be made available to the public as plans develop.