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Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Deal

The Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Deal

The Town Deal for Newcastle is an exciting opportunity to bid for significant investment of up to £25 million to facilitate future economic growth. The Newcastle Town Investment Plan (TIP) was submitted at the end of January 2021.  The Town Deal Board and the Borough Council together with our consultants, AECOM worked hard to put together a TIP that will bring real and lasting economic benefits to Newcastle town centre and the surrounding area. The Boundary for the Newcastle Town Deal (PDF 158Kb) was approved by the Board in January 2020 and has been accepted by MHCLG.

The Newcastle Town Deal Board was delighted to be informed on 8 June 2021 that Newcastle had been made an offer of £23.6m to deliver the projects contained in the TIP. The Board has now to confirm to MHCLG that they accept the offer and the 'Heads of Terms', which is a summary document setting out the terms of the grant offer, including any conditions that need to be met. Once agreement is confirmed, we have two months to let MHCLG know which projects we will be taking forward and if there are any changes to the description in the TIP, and then a further 12 months in which to provide a detailed 'Business Case' for each project. However, the #MyTown campaign is still open if you have any further ideas or comments about how Town Deals could transform the area. You can also e-mail the Economic Regeneration team with questions, comments and ideas.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Deal Board 

One condition of the Town Deal was that Newcastle set up a Town Deal Board to develop and agree a well-evidenced Town Investment Plan, which sets out a clear understanding of the area, focusing on its assets, opportunities and challenges. The Newcastle Town Deal Board brings together representatives from the public, private, voluntary, education and community sectors, all with the common aim of securing as much funding as possible to bring transformational economic benefits to the area. The Chair and Vice-chair were nominated by board members and all members have approved the Terms of Reference (PDF 470Kb) for the Newcastle Town Deal Board. See the Board Member profiles to find out more about the Kidsgrove Town Deal Board. Now that the TIP has been submitted, the Board will continue to work on the next phase of the Town Deal, the development of the Business Cases.

Trevor McMillan (Chair) Keele University and Stoke Staffs LEP
Cllr Steven Sweeney (Vice-chair) Newcastle-under-Lyme BC
Aaron Bell MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme
Graham Bibby Keele Parish Council
Phil Butters Keele University
Carl Copestake Knights plc
Thea Fern DWP
Dan Gray Aspire Group
Lisa Healings VAST
Pete Herbert PH Productions
Robert Lawley Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce
Eddie Leligdowicz Newcastle Business Improvement District
Henryk Adamczuk Silverdale Parish Council
Jane Tunnicliff Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group
Nicky Twemlow YMCA North Staffs
Fiona Wallace The New Vic Theatre
Sharon Warren Atmore Group
Cllr Philip White Staffordshire County Council

The Projects

Following consultation with board members and a 'Call for Projects' from the public and other local stakeholders, over 25 project ideas were submitted. These were scored against a number of factors such as deliverability, cost, fit with local strategies and whether they meet the requirements of the MHCLG guidance using a prioritisation approach (PDF 340Kb) devised by AECOM and approved by the Board. However, three main objectives stood out for Newcastle and separate project development groups were organised for each theme to work up project ideas in more detail, ready for inclusion the final Town Investment Plan, which was submitted to MHCLG in January 2021. A useful summary of the Kidsgrove Town Deal can be found in the video  (external Link) submitted along with the TIP.

Objective 1: To open up growth opportunities through enhanced physical and digital connectivity aligned with clean and sustainable economic development.

Smart Newcastle – Digital infrastructure: This scheme builds upon private sector investment in the roll out of high-speed gigabit digital infrastructure across Newcastle-under-Lyme and will complement the roll out of public town centre wi-fi funded by the Town Deal Advance Payment.. Town Deal monies will fund a Town Deal wide voucher scheme to fund access to the digital fibre network “spine” for end users. The scheme will address the speed and coverage of the digital network which is highly variable across the Town Deal area, giving Newcastle an advantage in attracting investment, facilitating better access to services, employment, education and wider services for its residents so that the Town is set up for longer term sustainable development.  

Sustainable public transport solutions: A package of investment in bus infrastructure and services across Newcastle-under-Lyme to improve the quality of the bus network and passenger experience to increase bus usage and passenger service satisfaction; address bottlenecks to improve journey times and reliability; address air quality issues in Newcastle-under-Lyme; and future-proof the network. The project comprises four separate components; a green bus station, powered by solar energy, and including smart bus shelters; Real time bus information including departure times and average walk times to the nearest bus stops; Investment in measures to maximise connectivity with improved reliability on the route to Keele and circular bus route to connect Knutton, Chesterton and Silverdale; A feasibility study into greening the bus fleet on the A525 Keele corridor.

Town Centre permeability: A package of walking and cycling measures, including upgraded pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities, segregated walking / cycling routes and improved connectivity to the greenways to promote cycle accessibility across the wider network. The ask is for £1m to upgrade the existing at-grade crossing on Barracks Road (at Hassell Street) and improved cycling routes on Lower Street (north of Pool Dam). Outside of the ring road, the project would deliver resurfacing works, a new footbridge, segregated route upgrades and wayfinding signage. The project would contribute towards providing a complete, coordinated walking / cycling corridor between Keele University, Newcastle town centre and Hanley and improve town centre permeability.

Electric charging infrastructure: Encouraging the transition to electric vehicles by investing in green infrastructure for use by taxis and private cars in Newcastle-under-Lyme. EV charging points are already planned at the proposed redeveloped Rycroft multi-storey car park via Future High street Funding. This project would deliver similar infrastructure by funding a further 20 charging units (40 charging spaces) at other car park locations and taxi ranks in the town centre.

Objective 2: To diversify and enhance the town centre experience by encouraging new uses to increase demand, footfall and boost the dwell time of residents and visitors.

Digital Society Centre: A new hub facility located in the Town Deal area that will provide flexible spaces for learning and SMEs. It will drive productivity and increase skill levels in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire, focused on areas of high growth and increasing need in day-to-day life in accessing and delivering public services. These include areas such as digital skills, data analytics and artificial intelligence. The Digital Society Centre will build upon the knowledge and assets of Keele University and Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group. In particular, it will complement proposals for a town centre-based Institute of Technology and the smart ‘Living Lab’ in Keele’s new IC7 Innovation centre.

Investment in town centre gateway sites: The Zanzibar building is a former nightclub which has been vacant for approximately 16 years. It offers 36,000 sq. ft of floorspace and is located in a prominent position on the A52 – a key route into Newcastle town centre. Investment at this key gateway site will build upon the Advance Town Deal scheme to acquire and demolish the former nightclub. It will also unlock an additional £13.9m of funding in the Zanzibar site. Town Deal investment will also fund the demolition of the Midway multi storey carpark to make way for the development of 126 new homes comprising a mix of homes for key workers and young professionals and extra care accommodation. Town Deal funding will therefore unlock this site for development, creating a more appropriate use for a site so close to the retail core will complement the emerging residential quarter of Newcastle-under-Lyme. 

Astley Centre for Circus and Performing Arts: Newcastle-under-Lyme’s unique contribution to world culture is as the birthplace of the man who invented the modern circus, Philip Astley. Astley’s has been celebrated by the successful delivery of town centre events as the Festival of Circus; AstleyFest – a celebration of the 250th anniversary of modern circus; and the annual ‘Homecoming’ – a circus inspired event hosted in Newcastle Town Centre. The Astley Centre will build on these successful events and the presence of the New Vic Theatre to develop a dedicated Centre for Circus in the town centre. The Centre will embrace content creation as well as training and skills development; education and participation; history, research and pedagogy (‘circademia’); and tourism and heritage. The Centre for Circus will feature workspace, fully equipped studios, education space, accommodation all housed in a repurposed building, plus a dedicated and fully equipped site to pitch Big Tops. This project presents the opportunity to permanently establish Newcastle-under-Lyme as a world centre of circus, thereby making a bold statement about culture-led regeneration, offering a focal point for the county’s tourism strategy and adding to Newcastle’s offer as a thriving place for people to live and work.

Objective 3: To channel investment into regenerating communities, ensuring these areas are sustainable places to live and provide residents with the infrastructure needed to improve their quality of life.

Putting the Heart back into Knutton: As a former mining community, Knutton was subject to Housing Market Renewal Initiative to stimulate the housing market, regenerate the area and improve the quality of life and environment. A subsequent One Public Estate (OPE) funded masterplan has been drawn up which aims to ‘Put the Heart Back into Knutton’. This project will enable delivery of early phases of the Masterplan to regenerate Knutton. Town Deal funding will enable housing delivery by addressing viability gaps to bring forward long term vacant sites for redevelopment (with the delivery of 240 new homes), improvements to business accommodation through the redevelopment of the Knutton business centre, social and community facilities through a new village hall and village green, and improvements to local traffic safety. These interventions would make Knutton a more desirable place for people to live and work in, and pump prime investment into the area. Investment in Knutton will build upon the Advance Town Deal scheme to acquire and demolish property in the area to enable delivery of the masterplan.

As with Knutton, Chesterton was the focus of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative to regenerate the area, but has seen little investment in recent years and experiences low value in the property market. As such, the viability of development projects impacts the ability to enforce change to areas of deprivation without external subsidy. The project proposals are underpinned by a masterplan supported through the Government Estate Regeneration Fund. Town Deal investment would result in much-needed investment within Chesterton to enable delivery of high quality, mixed tenure housing options for the local community while the project proposal also links to Aspire’s wider estate regeneration plan for Chesterton to improve the existing housing stock through external and internal works programmes, presenting the opportunity to channel follow-on investment in this area.

Accelerated Funding

Every town selected to work towards a Town Deal will be able to access additional funding depending on their population size - for Newcastle-under-Lyme this is £1m. The early investment is intended to kick-start activity in towns and high streets across the country, ensuring local people can see and feel the benefit as soon as possible. Funded projects must be completed by 31 March 2021. The proposed projects were presented to the Town Deal Board on 23 July and approved. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council submitted details of the proposals to MHCLG on 11 August and received confirmation that all projects have been approved. The funding has been received and the council is currently finalising the governance arrangements, which will comprise a team of officers and Cabinet members, with the Town Deal Board providing oversight of progress. The Newcastle-under-Lyme grant funding will be used to deliver projects in two distinct packages:

Package 1: Land and property acquisition and demolition

This package comprises three projects.

  • Revitalising Newcastle Town Centre through the demolition of the former Zanzibar nightclub which has been vacant for approximately 16 years and is located in a prominent position on the A52 – a key route into Newcastle town centre. The building was recently purchased by Aspire Housing who have plans to redevelop the site to provide older person’s accommodation as well as live/work units and small industrial units for start-up businesses and ‘move-up’ accommodation for incubator/innovation focused businesses.
  • Kick starting housing development in deprived areas with the acquisition and demolition of a vacant and derelict building in Knutton. The first phase of the masterplan involves the development of new social and market housing alongside the development of a Community Heart.
  • Providing routes to training and employment – Re-purposing of Lancaster Building to provide a partnership employment and support service in Newcastle Town Centre.

Package 2: Addressing Connectivity and safety challenges

This package comprises three projects

  • Expanding the Newcastle-Under-Lyme E-scooter trial. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is working with the Department for Transport as part of the Staffordshire E-scooter pilot scheme. Advance payment funding will be used to expand the proposed trial in Newcastle by increasing the number of E-scooters and charging points. A particular focus will be placed on increasing coverage into disadvantaged communities including purchasing E-Scooters for vulnerable groups who face barriers to accessing opportunity due to a lack of personal transport.
  • Safe and secure routes into Newcastle town centre - Advance payment monies would also be used to progress design work for the at grade crossings proposed as part of the Newcastle-Under-Lyme Town Deal.
  • Public WiFi - The Town Deal Advance payment will be used to expand town centre Wi-fi coverage to key parts of the town centre currently outside of the existing scheme such as Merrial Street, Corporation Street, Liverpool Road and to the Rycroft site which is the focal point of Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s Future High Street Fund bid.

Find out more

Newcastle Town Deal Board Agendas, Action Logs and Presentations.

January 2020 Board Meeting Agenda (PDF 418Kb), Action Log (PDF 154Kb) and introductory presentation (PDF 284Kb)

April 2020 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 397Kb), Action Log (PDF 138Kb) and consultants' presentation (PDF 1.6Mb)

May 2020 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 299Kb), Action Log (PDF 131Kb) and consultants' presentation (PDF 338Kb)

June 2020 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 298Kb), Action Log (PDF 23Kb) and consultants' presentation (PDF 349Kb)

July 2020 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 52Kb), Action Log (PDF 128Kb) and consultants' presentation (PDF 1.75Mb)

No meeting in August

September 2020 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 52Kb), Action Log (PDF 135Kb) and consultants' presentation (PDF 1.38Mb)

No meeting in October or November

December 2020 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 298Kb), Action Log (PDF 163Kb)  and consultants' presentation (PDF 1.95Mb).

January 2021 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 179Kb) and Action Log (PDF 133Kb).

February 2021 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 213Kb), Draft Action Log (PDF 211Kb) (final version to follow after board approval)

No meetings March, April, May

June 2021 Board meeting Agenda (PDF 213Kb) 

Last updated 30 June 2021

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