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Business case approval from Government for first two Towns Fund projects for Crewe

Crewe Regeneration Cheshire East 20/06/2022

Flag Lane Baths Community Hub and Crewe Youth Zone projects

The chair of Crewe Town Board says ‘we are one step closer to two fantastic new facilities being delivered in Crewe’ after the first two Towns Fund projects had their business cases signed off by government.

The board is overseeing work to receive up to £22.9m in funding from the government’s Towns Fund and plans for a package of 10 projects that will support Crewe’s ongoing regeneration.

At a recent board meeting, members approved business cases for the Flag Lane Baths Community Hub and Crewe Youth Zone projects and agreed to submit them to government for its final approval.

Having now received government approval, funding for these projects will be released later in the year.

Doug Kinsman, chair of Crewe Town Board, said: “This is fantastic news for Crewe’s regeneration, its communities and the wider area and is testament to the strengths of the business cases that were submitted.

“Achieving business case approval from government for the Flag Lane Baths and Youth Zone projects means we are one step closer to two fantastic new facilities being delivered in Crewe – and closer to providing facilities that will support the needs of our community both now and in the future and improve social, mental health and wellbeing services.”

Business cases for the other eight Towns Fund projects will continue to be developed over the coming weeks and will all be submitted to government, in stages, by the end of summer for its agreement and sign off.

It is only once a final funding offer has been made by government – and once other processes and approvals have been met, such as planning permission in some cases – that physical works on the projects can begin.

The Flag Lane Baths project is led by the Always Ahead charity and aims to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing for the whole of Crewe and its residents for years to come.

The project, which recently received planning permission, will see the whole site of the former Crewe swimming pool building transformed into a vibrant destination where people will be able to spend leisure time and access support; fulfilling a 21st century social function for the people of Crewe; preserving the heritage of the building and keeping alive the memories of many generations of Crewe residents.

Rev David Edwards, executive director of Always Ahead, said: “Our vision has always been to see Flag Lane Baths become a source of huge civic pride for the local community once again, and we are looking forward to seeing this vision become a reality and to begin the next stages of this project.

“I am delighted to announce that we have now appointed a main building contractor for the project.

“We are in the process of developing a schedule of works to make the site and building secure before construction begins at a later date.

“We are grateful to the Town Board and the support and engagement by local residents, community groups, public and private sector organisations that have helped to shape the project thus far.”

The Crewe Youth Zone project is led by national youth charity OnSide. Youth Zones are state-of-the-art spaces for young people that are packed with fantastic facilities and activities including dance, music and media skills.

They are staffed by supportive skilled youth workers who believe in young people and help them to achieve their potential.

Kathryn Morley, chief executive at OnSide, said: “The Youth Zone will be an inspirational place with incredible facilities, that will give young people countless opportunities to meet new friends, gain support from skilled youth workers and discover new passions and talents.

“This is an exciting time for Crewe, and we look forward to seeing how things progress.”

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council added: “I am thrilled that this latest milestone has been reached – it’s a significant step towards delivering this much-needed facility for our young people.”

The Youth Zone project also includes an associated satellite youth facility on Mirion Street.

The first phase of developing this facility will focus on relocating South Cheshire Amateur Boxing Club to enable their vibrant clubs to continue to thrive and develop.

Ray Palin, chair of the Crewe Youth Club charity, said he is ‘delighted’ with the latest Towns Fund news for Crewe and that the plans are to deliver a ‘fabulous new facility’.

Nathan Clarke, head coach and founder of South Cheshire Amateur Boxing Club, added: “I am excited to have the opportunity to take our boxing club experience to even more young people in Crewe and to be working with Crewe Youth Club and the Town Board.”

To view the full list of Towns Fund projects and to find out more about plans for Crewe, visit: the Crewe Town Board website.