COUNCIL bosses will agree to set up a board to explore funding opportunities for Nelson town centre.

Pendle Council is in the process of setting up a Nelson Town Deal Board to help develop proposals for new multi-million pound town deals.

The Government-issued prospectus sets out that it is expected that initial plans for town deals will be led by a lead council who will be required to establish a board which will develop a Town Investment Plan.

Boards need to be convened by the end of January and Pendle Council policy and resources committee members will ratify the new body at a meeting on Thursday.

There is currently an advisory group in place to oversee the development of the Nelson masterplan.

This was established before the announcement of the Towns Fund.

The majority of organisations on the advisory group would also be members of the new board.

To avoid duplication, and to ensure that the work on the investment plan and masterplan are complementary, it is proposed to disband the advisory group and expand the remit of the town deal board.

Any current members of the advisory group who are not on the town deal board would still be involved through stakeholder engagement and consultation.

Housing, health and engineering services manager, Julie Whittaker, said: "Capacity building funding of £162,019 has been awarded to Pendle Council.

"This will be used to cover any additional costs for the provision of the secretariat function and providing the accountable body role for the town deal board.

"It will also fund community engagement, consultancy costs required to develop an evidence base, to draw up the investment plan and to produce a business case to secure further funding."

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.