Back in August 2020 we reported that Hereford was one of 100 places invited to be part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, a scheme that seeks to support economic growth in towns and cities around the UK.
A lot has happened since then, culminating in the submission of a Town Investment Plan for Hereford at the end of January - a response to the governments invitation to bid for up to £25 million to invest in specific capital projects to address the core objectives of urban regeneration, a stronger skills base and improved connectivity.
Following an extensive programme of community engagement, the independent #StrongerHereford Towns Fund board developed a vision for the city:
“Hereford aspires to be one of the greenest & fairest cities in the country, with fantastic opportunities and quality of life for people of all ages. Deeply rooted in our unique rural heritage, we're blossoming into a richly creative, digital, connected & highly-skilled place to live, work, study and visit.”
Proposals were invited and the board assessed more than 40 potential projects against local and national criteria. Fifteen interconnected projects were selected for inclusion in the plan which together will help to make this vision a reality. These projects will help to boost skills and learning, improve access to culture and enhance Hereford’s tourism offer at the same time as addressing connectivity and urban regeneration. They include: a range of projects coming together as the ‘Skills Foundry’ to help people develop the skills they need for employment, some focusing particularly on digital skills; a new museum for Hereford; proposals to maximise the potential of the river and its banks in terms of tourism, leisure and cultural opportunities and projects which will reduce our carbon footprint.
hvoss is represented on the #StrongerHereford Towns Fund board by trustee Judith Faux who said ‘I have been hugely impressed by the wide range of projects that have been put forward and the connections that have been made as a result of this process. People and organisations from all sectors have come together to make this happen and there is a commitment not only to deliver the Town Investment Plan but also to provide support in the future to those very worthy projects that could not be included.’
The Town Investment Plan was endorsed by the hvoss board at its meeting in January, in common with other partners, and we wait to hear later this year whether it has been successful.
To find out more or to register for regular updates visit - https://strongerhereford.co.uk/