A council partnership has set out its commitment to a LEP-funded scheme which will help pave the way for the major regeneration of a Staffordshire town.
The proposed flood defence scheme in Rugeley town centre will lead to the development of homes and businesses and 330 new or safeguarded jobs. In addition, the project will see more than 100 existing homes and business premises protected by the construction of a 370-metre long embankment along Western Springs Road.
It has been backed by a Â£1.29 million provisional allocation from the Governmentâ€™s Local Growth Fund and will boost Rugeleyâ€™s future growth. The funding, which was secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership, will also support transport and access improvements. The scheme will protect areas at risk from flooding will mean business, leisure and housing development can take place in previously avoided areas. Around 140 new homes will be built, in addition to other town centre and transport improvements. The Environment Agency will also be funding the project.
Staffordshire County Council and Cannock Chase Council have now committed to each investing Â£375,000 in the scheme in the unlikely event that the Local Growth Funding is not made available on schedule.
Staffordshire County Councilâ€™s cabinet member for economy, environment and transport Mark Winnington said: â€œThe flood defence scheme is vital for Rugeleyâ€™s future regeneration and growth. Development that has been held back because of flood risk will be now able to happen. It will build confidence in investors and developers with that risk removed and will mean the town can really move forward. It was great news that we secured the Growth Deal allocation towards the scheme â€“ however we are fully committed to the project and do not want to see any significant delays. Thereâ€™s no reason why the scheme will not receive the allocation on time, but with any major scheme we need to ensure there is detailed planning, including an alternative option for funding. Together with Cannock Chase Council, we want to unlock Rugeleyâ€™s future potential as soon as possible.â€
Cannock Chase Councilâ€™s economic development and planning portfolio leader Gordon Alcott said: â€œCannock Chase Council fully supports a scheme that will improve the town centre and create hundreds of new jobs. This is all part of our ongoing policy of improving our town centres.â€