Writing today in local Rother Valley magazine, YourMag, Alexander Stafford MP makes a strong case for levelling up Rother Valley via the Government's £20million fund for left-behind areas.
The Government has just announced the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund to invest in local infrastructure which will have a visible impact on people and their communities. Rother Valley is in a priority 1 area and eligible for up to £20 million of funding. This huge pot of money is especially important for our left behind areas – my priority is the rejuvenation of Rother Valley’s high streets, particularly in towns such as Dinnington, Maltby, Thurcroft, Anston, Swallownest and Kiveton. There is a real crisis on our high streets and in our towns. It is simply not good enough; local people expect and deserve far better than this.
My vision is for our town centres to be beacons of commerce, education, and employment. The initial Government investment could be channelled towards new street layouts and brand-new facilities, improving the quality of the spaces for the enjoyment of local residents and acting as the catalyst for private investment from businesses and employers.
Government money working in tandem with the private sector will create jobs, increase the amount of money spent locally, and negate the need to go elsewhere for vital services. New local transport schemes would improve connectivity and link up our towns, creating a bubble of prosperity within Rother Valley. The improvement of one town will have benefits for neighbouring towns and vice-versa.
I call on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the Sheffield City Region to step up to the plate and fulfil their responsibilities to local people by working with me to submit a powerful bid which will restore our precious high streets and level up every town in Rother Valley. This is a once in a generation opportunity, and we must seize it fully.