NELSON is gearing up to bid for up to £25 million for a Town Deal from the Government’s new Towns Fund - through a transformational Town Investment Plan.

The town is one of 100 places in England chosen to develop proposals which seek to drive the economic regeneration of towns

Pendle Council leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said: “We’ve been chosen because of our proud industrial and economic heritage.

“And it’s recognised that we need investment to transform Nelson’s prospects for stronger economic growth in the future.

“I’m confident that 2020 will be a turning point for Nelson.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity with the potential to create a strong impact across the whole of Pendle.”

This week, Pendle Council agreed on a Nelson Town Deal Board to oversee the development of the Town Investment Plan and the Nelson Masterplan.

The new board will include representatives from local businesses, the community, Pendle Council, Lancashire County Council, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, local voluntary organisations, Pendle’s MP and young people.

“It’s vital that our local community is involved in helping us develop plans which will make a real difference to people in our area,” said Cllr Iqbal.

A new masterplan for Nelson will be drafted early this year and completed by the summer, with another public consultation event being planned for the end of February.

Cllr Iqbal added: “The Nelson Masterplan will be the blueprint for the future direction of the town over the next ten years and the positive effects will be felt far beyond this.

“The board will ensure that the multi-million bids for the town dovetail for a brighter future for Pendle.

“Nelson is one of the first 50 towns in the UK to reach round two in the Future High Streets bidding process and we’ll be submitting our final business case in April 2020. If we’re successful in both these bids they could add up to £50 million of investment.

“We are working hard to maximise the investment we can win for Pendle.

The opportunities include a bid for up to £25 million from the Future High Streets Fund to help provide a long-term sustainable future for the town centre.

A wide range of organisations with a stake in the area will also be consulted on plans for Nelson including Pendle Leisure Trust, voluntary sector organisations, the police, Jobcentre Plus and providers of affordable housing such as Together Housing.

Membership and arrangements for the new Town Deal Board were agreed at Pendle Council’s Policy and Resources meeting last week.