Bid for up to £20m of new funding could take investment for Darwen to £120m!

Published 01st Mar 2024

Think of Darwen and you’ll likely think of its iconic tower, the rolling moors, it’s sprawling parks and woodland, historic Market Hall, and impressive Carnegie Library.

All of these will benefit from the £100m Darwen Town Deal – more investment in the town than any of us will ever have seen in our lifetimes.

And, there’s another big year ahead too.

Late last year, Blackburn with Darwen was named as one of 55 places across the country to benefit from funding through the Government’s new Long-Term Plan for Towns scheme.

That could bring in up to an extra £20m for Darwen.

Like the Town Deal, the full amount isn’t guaranteed and so the focus now is on developing a strong bid before the summer.

And, that bid will reflect the priorities that residents say really matter to them.

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and Deputy Chair of the Darwen Town Deal Board, told Discover BwD:

“This new Long-Term Plan for Towns funding is just what’s needed to build on what’s already planned as part of the Town Deal.

“We took the full £25m secured from Government through that and we worked really hard to make it worth an impressive £100m – just brilliant.

“For the Town Deal, we were focusing on the bigger picture – projects that would truly transform Darwen, including significant investment for the town centre, for jobs and skills and for our tower, links to the moors and sporting facilities.

“This chance at new funding shows the Government’s confidence in our plans and in what we’re already delivering, which, I must say, really is impressive.

“And, it could mean up to a further £20m to be spent over the next decade – focusing on resident priorities which the Town Deal just couldn’t cover.

“For example, we know that improving our parks is big on the list of priorities for our residents as well as reviving the high street – we’d love to use this funding for that.

“We’ll work really hard to make sure we put the strongest possible bid forward, a bid that will help bring real and positive change for Darwen.”

The Long-Term Plan for Towns offers an endowment-style of funding which the Government says should be used for high streets, heritage and regeneration and transport and connectivity as well as public safety.

Councillor Riley adds:

“Listening to our residents is incredibly important to us,”

“As with the Town Deal, we’ll be undertaking detailed consultation to ensure we get our plans right – right for the town, right for our residents and right for our businesses here.

“We also know that partnership working is a real strength for the Council – bringing people together to ensure the best possible outcomes really is what we do best. We’re renowned for it.

“This feels like a good time for Darwen with so much happening – especially when you throw the funding in that we’ve secured to double the size of the youth centre too.

“We’ll keep pushing on and doing all we can for Darwen.”

To find out more about the Darwen Town Deal, visit:

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