THE blueprint for a new generation of multi-million pound Town Deals to benefit Darwen and Nelson has been announced.

The Towns Fund prospectus provides information to councils for 100 places in England chosen to pioneer Town Deals.

They will receive a share of £16.4 million capacity funding to kick-start their innovative plans and bring their communities together.

In East Lancashire, Darwen and Nelson will have the opportunity to bid for funding worth up to £25 million as part of the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

The funding could be used to redevelop vacant buildings and land, drive private sector investment by supporting small businesses and ensure young people have the skills they need to get good jobs. Communities will also be able to consider how they can boost their transport links and increase access to high-speed broadband.

Communities and Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “This government is committed to levelling up all parts of the country. We created the £3.6bn Towns Fund to help businesses grow, connect communities and give people the skills they need to succeed.

“But no place is exactly the same. That is why we want to help local people in Lancashire to decide how this investment of up to £25 million in each town from the Government can help create new businesses, new jobs and new homes for generations to come.”

The announcement follows the launch of the My Town campaign, giving local people the chance to share what they love about their town and how they want to see it grow.

Blackburn with Darwen Council and Pendle Council will now form their own town deal boards including representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop bespoke town investment plans by summer.

These plans will provide a clear vision for building on their town’s unique strengths to transform its economic growth prospects and form the basis of negotiations with the Government.

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said: “We are giving local people in Lancashire the money and power to decide what is best for their town because they know their community’s unique strengths.

“Together we can build on the billions of pounds the Government has already invested in our towns and the thousands of new jobs and businesses it has delivered, to level up these places across the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.”