A new competition has been announced by the government to name the “Town of the Year”. The aim is to celebrate the achievements of towns across England in terms of community, entrepreneurship, integration and more.
So what does this involve, and how could it impact property prices and rent?
New Towns Hub and Towns Fund
The new competition was announced by the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, as reported on the Gov.uk website. It will feature towns all over England and will aim to highlight their achievements.
As well as announcing the competition to find the Town of the Year, the Communities Secretary also announced a new support package for towns across the country.
A Towns Fund worth £3.6 billion is to be set up to provide funding for 100 areas around the country. A Towns Hub will also be created to work with local people and encourage investment proposals, helping communities to transform their towns.
The aim is to give local people more control over investment decisions by finding out from local people about the support and investment they need in their local areas.
Local people will have a say on how the money can go towards, such as improving transport, skills and the creation of jobs. It will encourage communities to get together and boost community spirit.
Also, an advisory panel is going to be put together to advise on how towns can be revitalised, which will comprise entrepreneurs and people who have delivered change.
Robert Jenrick said that the government is making an “immediate start to serve local communities” in order to deliver change. He will personally visit the areas to make sure they are getting the support and investment they need, and the aim is to make the decade a period of renewal.
Scheme Attracts Criticism
The competition and funding have not been met with approval across the board. Lisa Nandy, the MP for Wigan, said it was a “gimmick”. Speaking in the Daily Mirror, she said the government was “having a laugh”.
It has also received criticism for primarily targeting conservative seats and missing out places like Blackburn that have seen the negative effects of austerity.
Impact on House Prices and Rent
It’s unclear how this new competition could have an impact on house prices and rent in the winning town. However, whichever town is named as the Town of the Year will be able to proudly display its new title, and this could help to attract more business, investment and opportunities,
This could see more people being attracted to the town, and over time this could see a rise in house prices and rent. But ultimately, house prices will only increase when demand increases.
Either way, extra funding for deprived towns across England will hopefully be used to help these areas improve so they can grow and thrive over the next decade, which will be good news for everyone living in them.