Toggle Mobile Menu Visibility
Toggle Search Controls Visibility
Toggle search control visibility
Search Site

Council secures £17.1m to regenerate Leek

Published on 19 January 2023

Enhanced retail, cultural and wellbeing amenities are set to be delivered in Leek after the District Council secured over £17m in Levelling Up funding following a highly competitive bidding round.

The announcement was made last night by the Government, who cited the Council's 'strong application', and has been welcomed by the Council.

Council Leader, Councillor Paul Roberts, said: "I am delighted that the people and businesses of Leek can now look forward with certainty to this once-in-a-lifetime  regeneration opportunity.

"This is the news we were waiting for and is the best possible start to the New Year for the town. Of course, securing the funding is just the beginning and the hard work of delivering projects that really make a difference begins now.

"We want to work with our communities, businesses and other partners to ensure that this huge investment in our town is well spent - and that we see improvements to the markets, the Nicholson and our health and wellbeing facilities that benefit our people and our economy for generations to come."

As part of the Levelling Up agenda, the Government invited Councils across the country to bid for place improvements through the Levelling Up Fund (LUF).

The bid package in Leek is focused on three schemes - refurbishing and re-purposing the first floor of the Nicholson Institute to provide blended, complementary cultural and education facilities (in partnership with Staffordshire County Council and Buxton and Leek College); investment in improved retail facilities and trader opportunities at the Trestle and Butter markets; and the development of a wellness hub at Brough Park Leisure Centre.

Councillor Keith Flunder, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We consulted with our partners and stakeholders before our bid was submitted so we know the improvements we are going to be implementing have the support of our communities.

"We now need to build on that and, I'm sure, everyone will be as excited as we are about this new chapter for Leek. It's early days but we will be sharing more details about the next steps in due course and we will be involving our communities, businesses and partners in discussions to help shape our vision for Leek's future."

The Council also submitted a bid for funding to provide a new wellness hub on the site of the existing South Moorlands Leisure Centre in Cheadle which, with just one in five bids receiving funding, was not successful.

The Council's Leader and Deputy Leader have both expressed their disappointment that Cheadle wasn't awarded Levelling Up funding.

Councillor Mark Deaville, who is also Cabinet member for leisure and sport at the District Council and County Councillor for Cheadle, said: "It's great news for Leek but extremely disappointing for Cheadle. Improving the health and leisure facilities in the town has long been a priority for us and was a key part of the recent consultations we have done on regenerating the town.

"We know people in Cheadle value the leisure centre and want to benefit from modern, fit-for-purpose, facilities that help people make good health choices and lead physically active lives.

"That's why it's so disappointing that our bid was not successful, but we will continue to consider the future provision of leisure and wellbeing facilities in the town and look at what we can do to ensure people living there do have access to the sort of facilities they have told us they want.

"Our commitment to Cheadle is as strong as ever and, whilst this decision is frustrating, it will not stop us working with our partners as we seek to regenerate the town and provide the leisure and health amenities that will enhance the lives of everyone in our area."