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22/05/2024

Major Regeneration Programme To Begin In Torbay

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Torbay has been selected as the newest recipient of a significant levelling up regeneration program aimed at transforming this popular seaside destination.

The region will see the impact of a £20 million Levelling Up Partnership aimed at accelerating regeneration and improving opportunities across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, ensuring their continued growth.

This includes funding to:

•Convert disused holiday accommodation into permanent homes for residents to tackle local housing issues

•Start the refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Oldway Mansion - designed in the style of the Palace of Versailles in Paris - to help transform it into a significant visitor attraction to boost tourism all-year round; and

•Improve the area through new lighting, trees and signage as part of Paignton and Preston sea defences.

Levelling Up Partnerships, first announced in the 2023 Spring Budget, are bespoke regeneration programmes targeted in areas that have too often been ignored. The government uses them to level up skills and opportunities, improve people’s quality of life, and address deep-rooted local challenges, giving these areas the best possible chance to thrive. The announcement of the partnership for Torbay follows on from the first one being rolled out in Scotland, in Dundee, last week.

Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young said: "Torbay is at the heart of our levelling up agenda, and I have been delighted to work with local leaders to develop this partnership to ensure it delivers for people. The investment will provide a major levelling up boost to the area including by providing more homes for local people helping bring the historic Oldway Mansion back to its former glory and deliver the brighter bay residents deserve."

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Torbay Council and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have collaborated closely as strategic partners to identify the most critical projects. They will continue working together to deliver these essential improvements.

Torbay's Levelling Up Partnership includes:

•£8m to fund the first phase of the refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Oldway Mansion which has fallen into disrepair and been closed for more than a decade

•£7m for lighting, improved accessibility, signage and other improvements as part of the Paignton and Preston sea defences, reducing the danger of flooding and improving people’s pride in the area

•£3.25m to convert disused holiday accommodation, such as former guesthouses and large B&Bs, into permanent homes for residents.

•£1m to support improvements to Brixham’s central car park, including new seating and signage and increasing the number of parking spaces.

•£500,000 to transform vacant buildings into cultural and creative spaces, to nurture and showcase local talent and provide more opportunities for local people. *£500,000 for improvements to community and youth provision in some of Torbay’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

Cllr David Thomas, Leader of Torbay Council said: "Here in Torbay we are at the beginning of a once in a generation transformation journey. Our focus is on making the most of our marine and natural environment alongside the heritage that has shaped the English Riviera. We will be doing this through regeneration, delivering meaningful improvements, benefiting those who live, work and visit the Bay.

"Hearing that we have secured this Levelling Up Partnership funding is fantastic news. This funding, along with other funding already secured, will really give us the opportunity to drive forward a range of projects that will have an impact on all three of our towns of the Bay - Brixham, Paignton and Torquay."

This funding builds on over £75 million of investment in the area, including £20 million from the Levelling Up Fund Round 3 to boost jobs in the fishing and electronics sectors, with investments in Brixham Fish Market. It also includes £20 million from the Long-Term Plan for Towns and a £20 million Town Deal to transform Torquay, along with nearly £300,000 from the Community Ownership Fund to regenerate the historic Paignton Picture House. Additional funding includes over £13 million from the Future High Streets Fund to support the transformation of Paignton town centre and around £2 million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The area is also set to benefit from a devolution deal signed with Devon County Council and Torbay Council earlier this year to create a new combined county authority, with a further £16m awarded to invest into local housing priorities, Net Zero ambitions and green skills.

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