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Council bids for £20m to help ‘elevate’ standard of life in North East Derbyshire

Council chiefs have high hopes of securing more than £20m to help boost the standard of life and economic opportunities across North East Derbyshire.

North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) has submitted two bids to the Government for funding – £17.8m through the Levelling Up Fund Round Two for the ‘Elevating Eckington’ scheme and £2.5m through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for improvements throughout the district.

If successful, the Levelling Up funding will help the authority realise its vision for Eckington town centre, developed alongside the parish council, Derbyshire County Council and local stakeholders.

Plans include the regeneration of Northgate House and the council-owned ‘Southgate House’ area of shops and flats to create modern low carbon buildings.

There would be improvements to the connectivity between the newly-refurbished leisure centre and the town centre, as well as the development of a central ‘town square’ to act as a focal point for community events.

Car parking would be increased and new employment spaces created to encourage businesses to relocate to the town.

A new activity hub would also be developed at Lansbury Park, providing a café, multi-age play area, 3G sports pitch, skate park, nature and dog agility areas.

If its UK Shared Prosperity Fund bid is successful, the council has outlined its ambitions to achieve Green Flag status for the park, proposing that more than £1m of the £2.5m requested be spent on improvements to parks and public spaces throughout the district.

The remainder of the cash would be shared between projects to support business, training, culture and energy efficiency.

NEDDC Cabinet Member for Economy Councillor Jeremy Kenyon said: “If our £17.8m bid is successful, it will give us the chance to make some fantastic improvements for Eckington residents.

“It will completely re-shape Eckington, providing a new town square, new shops and food and drink outlets, a new park, and many more employment opportunities for local residents.”

He continued: “The £2.5m Shared Prosperity Fund will give us further opportunities to make our district an even greater place to live, invest, work and visit, with a particular focus on public facing works such as play areas, shop frontages and public space.

“If we are successful in harnessing these additional resources, we can accelerate our commitment to ensure that North East Derbyshire is a business friendly district where our residents’ quality of life is enhanced and the character of our district is promoted.”

The Government is currently reviewing all applicants and is expected to announce successful bids in late Autumn.

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