Company news | Green light for £22.4 million investment

Green light for £22.4 million investment: Fifteen capital projects that will bring about new skills, creative places and community connections have been formally approved and are set to supercharge pioneering education hubs connected to fast-growing industries.

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Transforming our space

It’s an exciting and transformational time for Hereford. We’ve recently shared with you the launch of Hereford Herd to support creative talent living and planning to work in Herefordshire. Now we can share with you some of the behind the scenes work we’ve been doing with #StrongerHereford.

The #StrongerHereford board is an independent board for Hereford made of a blend of people from private, public and community sectors. We’ve been involved for over two years. Firstly through our connections with NMITE on ideas to recruit students who are work-ready, but also to utilise their facilities to benefit the local community. Of course, we weren’t the only organisations having these type of conversations.

Where it all began

The board was formed as Hereford as one of 100 places invited by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to be part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund to support economic growth. Towns were asked to set up a Town Deal board who after extensive public consultation would create a Town Investment Plan (TIP). Our Director of Marketing and Operations, Ruth Parry, joined the board and became part of this consultation process to put forward a bid for £25 million to Central Government in January 2021.

It was important for businesses who representative the Hereford city community were involved. Whist #StrongerHereford works in collaboration with Herefordshire Council and Hereford City Council, each of these organisations has one seat on the board. Other board members include people from other businesses such as Pedicargo, the Green Dragon and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water.

The guidelines for the bid stipulated a focus on various themes such as embracing our heritage and creativity to become a sustainable and forward-thinking city. It was all about blossoming into a highly-skilled place to live, work, study, invest and visit. Themes that dovetailed nicely into our own vision.

Illustration of the River Wye projects for #StrongerHereford

A cool £22.4 million of investment

Full business cases for 15 interconnected projects were submitted and this week the #StrongerHereford board received confirmation that physical work can begin with a secured £22.4 million. It’s quite an achievement. There are so many people who, like us, give their time voluntarily front and backstage to get to this point.

The projects themselves whilst interconnected, are about providing residents and visitors with more flexible, inclusive and inspirational spaces. It includes improved access to the river, new floating pontoons and canoe club upgrade as part of an ambitious riverside regeneration. It also means opening pioneering education hubs connected to fast-growing industries like video game design, digital creative skills and engineering.

Collaboration has been a key driver in the success of this funding. There were many people and organisations working in silo and competing for ultimately the same thing. The TIP had to demonstrate how Hereford would be connected. In other words, how would our people, places and projects always connect to each other? Bringing all the initial ideas and people together, gave us that integration. It means businesses like us are truly supported in attracting and retaining top talent, in a city where innovation and creativity can flourish. Read more about #StrongerHereford >

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