The Proposed Town Centre Investment Plan (TCIP) announced for Accrington Town Centre – which sets out potential possible investments of around £70m – is predicted to generate up to £9.6million for the local economy each year, entice up to 820,000 visitors annually and support hundreds of new jobs.
The TCIP, which is being presented in a Full Council meeting on 13 January, will guide decision making and be used as a springboard to secure future funding and investment. The document sets out an evidence base of Accrington’s challenges and opportunities and details a variety of projects and initiatives that will improve environmental quality in the town, encouraging sustainable growth for the local economy over the next 10-15 years if implemented.
After a successful competitive tender process consultants Bradshaw Advisory – whose team include former Treasury and Government Economic Service economists – were appointed by Hyndburn Borough Council to create the Town Centre Investment Plan. Using consultants has meant an independent and credible plan is now ready, with Government processes and assessment criteria followed at all stages. The TCIP has been shaped by the Hyndburn community, alongside strategic input from experts.
The ‘Accrington Town Centre Partnership’ was formed in Summer 2021 which invited key people from the local community to help steer the project. A smaller ‘Partnership Board’ was created to make decisions and keep the plans moving forward. Bradshaw Advisory have worked alongside Hyndburn Borough Council and these two community-driven groups, who have brought crucial local insight and knowledge to the table.
The TCIP lists interventions and ideas for a thriving Accrington Town Centre, with heritage at the heart, building on the past for a prosperous future.
Amy Tinley, Associate Director at Bradshaw Advisory and previous UK Government Special Advisor:
“It was clear from discussions with the partnership groups and the representative polling we commissioned that the future of Accrington needed to have heritage front and centre. This gave Bradshaw Advisory a clear vision and path to follow when undertaking our research and assessment process.
“We used the Treasury’s Green Book to rigorously and independently assess different possible interventions and only recommended those that met the criteria. This approach, alongside the input of the Partnership Group and Board, means the TCIP for Accrington is driven by both community, evidence and official guidance – giving it the best chance of success.”
The journey to a finalised Town Centre Investment Plan involved analysis of potential impacts, projected return on investment, alignment with the newly created vision and compatibility with the requirements for various funding bids.
Over 30 interventions were proposed for inclusion. After being assessed and scored by Bradshaw Advisory and their team of experts, 18 interventions were then shortlisted for inclusion in the TCIP.
David Sanderson MBE DL, Interim Chair of the Partnership Board and CEO of The Rank Foundation:
“Early on in this process the Partnership Board agreed to a ‘Vision for Accrington Town Centre’, detailing a long-term transformation that would regenerate our local community. The interventions proposed for Accrington were then shortlisted, with input from Bradshaw Advisory and the agreed vision to guide us through the process.
“For future growth and prosperity, it is key Hyndburn Borough Council are ready, waiting to bid and are part of various funding sources, such as the Government’s Levelling Up Fund or Heritage Lottery Grants.
“The 18 interventions listed in Accrington’s TCIP are all opportunities for investment and funding, which I am looking forward to seeing taken forward over the coming years. The TCIP aims to improve everyday life for the people of Hyndburn and I am very proud to have been part of this journey.”
Hyndburn Borough Council’s cabinet will later review Accrington’s Town Centre Investment Plan and, if agreed, the plan will guide future decision making.