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Funding bid of £20 million to regenerate Sheerness

Published Tuesday 25 January, 2022
Last updated on Tuesday 25 January, 2022

Swale Borough Council is working on plans to bid for £20 million from the Government’s levelling up fund to regenerate Sheerness and want to hear local people’s ideas.

The council needs to put together a package that meets the Government’s stringent criteria and maximises the economic and social impact of the bid.

The bid could include a new leisure offer, improved healthcare, and an expanded education offer, as well as new jobs and enterprises in Sheerness, and attracting tourism and investment that would benefit the island as a whole.

Sheppey College could be expanded to widen the vocational offering, and the scheme could include new studio and work spaces at Master’s House, as well as linking the High Street, seafront and Beachfields area.

Attractions such as a new indoor swimming pool, adventure golf, bowling alley, kids splash pad, outdoor five-a-side football pitches could make up part of the bid to improve the area.

The next round of the Government’s levelling up fund is expected to open in the spring, and the council has been working to prepare a strong bid. This will include a three-week consultation to give local people the opportunity to comment on the proposed plans and submit any other ideas they think would benefit the local area. The consultation starts on Friday, 4 February.

An extraordinary Sheppey area committee meeting to discuss the plans is also scheduled for Tuesday, 8 February from 6.30pm to 8pm in Sheerness East Men’s Working Club (restrictions permitting).

Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of the council, said:

“Sheppey is a key priority and focus area for us. For too long, the people of Sheppey have been forgotten.

“The Government’s levelling up fund is designed to combat regional inequality by investing in local infrastructure and that’s exactly what we plan to do at Sheerness.

“Not only will this bid bring investment to Sheerness, but we want a plan that will also benefit the wider island.

“Work could start as early as next year if our bid is successful.”

Cllr Monique Bonney, cabinet member for economy and property at the council, said:

“We’ve been working hard to bring new life to our high streets in Swale and if we’re successful with our levelling up bid, this will be the biggest investment the island has seen for a long time.

“We have an idea of what we could do to improve the infrastructure and bring investment to the island, but we want to hear from local people about what they think the area needs.

“This work will not only bring a new lease of life to the island but will also create new local jobs for local people.

“The consultation will be open next week and we encourage people to feedback on our initial plans. This will be your chance to have a say on how we invest in your local area.”

Cllr Angela Harrison, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at the council, said:

“We want to hear from local people about how we can breathe a new lease of life into the island.

“After being left out of key investment for too long, this is our opportunity to have a say in how real change is done.

“The extraordinary Sheppey area committee meeting takes next week and everyone is welcome either in-person or virtually.

“This is our opportunity to share what the island needs from islanders. Making sure our voices are heard while the plans and bid are being created.”

The agenda for the extraordinary Sheppey area committee meeting will be available a week before the meeting at  https://services.swale.gov.uk/meetings/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=337&MId=3612