Residents of a Derbyshire town have their say on how a potential £25 million Government funding should be spent

Staveley town centre.
Staveley town centre.

Staveley and Clay Cross  are among 100 towns to receive a huge £25 million of funding from the Government.

The cash windfall is set to be allocated from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, which aims to help areas which have been left behind and have not benefited from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Matt Dale, 21

Matt Dale, 21

We spoke to shoppers and residents in Staveley town centre to ask them what they thought the cash would best benefit the area.

Matt Dale, 21, of Staveley said: “I think the biggest problem around here is a shortage of affordable housing. a lot of the new estates are too expensive for people trying to get on the housing ladder.”

Young mum Charlie Ellis, 21, of Staveley said: They should put money into new parks for the kids and community clubs like they used to have when I was younger, to get them off the streets and causing trouble.

“It might stop knife crime and antisocial behaviour.

David and Susan Jones.

David and Susan Jones.

We used to have street dance classes and under-16 disco nights in the town but they have stopped.

The last one was at Inkersall and that has been knocked down now.

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There should be events in summer for kids so they could get involved and have something to do. It might stop them drinking in the parks and destroying them. Beck then the PCSOs used to come out - you don’t see them walking down the street these days.”

David Jones of Mastin Moor said: “The roads get congested going towards the centre of town on the A619 and something should be done to sort that out. They could invest in a bigger market to benefit local people and the old theatre could be done up . It has been dilapidated for years. Even if they turned it into flats for people."

John Wills

John Wills

Susan Jones of Mastin Moor added: “Anything to do with community facilities would be a good start. We love walking along the canal - it is so beautiful. A lot of walks are blocked off and not accessible . People need to get out more and I am sure they would if there were more facilities I’m sure this is just a pre-election thing. All these promises are great but I would much rather see some action.

John Wills, 85, said; “It is good to see some money coming into the area . I think you have to look at younger people and looking after them to keep them off the streets and take knives out of circulation. I have a grand son and I worry there won’t be much left for him in Staveley when he grows up."

The towns eligible for support from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund include places with proud industrial and economic heritage which have not always benefited from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this Government.

Charlie Ellis.

Charlie Ellis.

“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.”

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

Councillor Martin Thacker, leader of North East Derbyshire District Council and Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, said in a joint statement: “This is great news for Clay Cross and the wider district of North East Derbyshire.

“Working together as a team, we have managed to secure funding to help the continued improvement and regeneration of Clay Cross town centre, ensuring that we can build the right infrastructure and develop the skills we need for the future. This is a great example of how a Government, a district council and an MP can work together to make areas better. Both of us are committed to continuing to speak up for North East Derbyshire and to ensuring we receive our fair share.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Chesterfield Borough Council is very pleased to see Staveley selected for the opportunity to benefit from the £3.6bn Towns Fund. We welcome the opportunity to develop proposals to secure funding from the programme and will immediately start to engage with local partners.

“Our aim will be to achieve as much funding as we can to support Staveley’s communities and businesses to grow and prosper for years to come.”

A total of 42 places across the Northern Powerhouse and 33 places in the Midlands Engine are among the 100 pioneers of new Town Deals as part of the government’s commitment to level up all regions by boosting productivity, skills and living standards.