This week, the Government has announced a £20 million boost for Castleford, as part of a new ‘long-term plan’. Castleford is one of 55 towns in the UK set to benefit from this funding. It will enable the Council to implement a comprehensive regeneration scheme over the next decade.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “This is excellent news for Castleford. We need funding for all our areas to make up for what has been taken from us. Whilst I welcome any funding for our district, if the Government funded us properly in the first place we wouldn’t have to bid for funding and wait to see if we are successful.
“We still need to consider exactly how this money will be used, and we’re waiting for more details from the Government about how it can be spent.
“But we’re very hopeful that the funding will be properly devolved so that we can use it – working alongside local businesses, charities and residents – to support the priorities that the community want to see progress on. If that happens then we can make sure that it adds the best possible value to the town.”
This funding complements the existing Towns Fund, aimed at enhancing growth, stimulating the local economy, and enhancing the well-being of local residents. In 2021, the Council received £23.9 million from the Towns Fund for Castleford. These funds are being utilised for various projects, including the development of the riverside, construction of new residences, establishment of a skills and flexible working hub, and general enhancements to the locality.
Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “This is good news for Castleford and will help us build on our already ambitious vision for the area. Whilst we welcome this news, we do need to note that although this is great news for one town in our district, there are many other areas that we need funding for.
“The Government has taken huge amounts of money away from our communities and now expects local people to be grateful when they hand a fraction of it back. Councils need to put away the begging bowls and the Government needs to reverse their harmful cuts and properly invest in our people and places.”