Development of the Leyland Town Investment Plan
Throughout 2020, Steer Economic Development was commissioned to support South Ribble Borough Council on the development of a £25million bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) £3.6 billion Towns Fund to invest in Leyland’s Town Centre.
The Towns Fund represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for Leyland town centre; providing the town with a more distinct identity and enticing offer. Specifically, the projects proposed as part of Leyland’s bid will deliver quality facilities that support start-ups, skills development and employment opportunities and develop the day and evening hospitality, leisure and retail offer. Together, these projects can help Leyland recover from the impact of Covid-19 and become a more economically resilient town in facing new challenges and seizing new opportunities.
Steer Economic Development’s work in developing the bid for Leyland Town Centre involved:
- Development of a robust evidence base that assessed the socioeconomic and environmental context, evidence of need and opportunities. The evidence base allowed for evidenced decision making throughout the strategy development and project prioritisation process.
- Development of strategic objectives and an overarching Theory of Change to underpin the Town Investment Plan’s proposed projects. This ensured the Plan responds to local needs and builds on opportunities to create genuine and deliverable positive outcomes.
- Undertaking of a project prioritisation process with detailed analysis and project shortlisting. Projects were assessed against a number of different criteria including the evidence of need and objectives, impact, cost, deliverability, timeline, risk and Covid-19 recovery.
- Close working with a variety of different stakeholders including masterplanners, designers, architects and cost-consultants in the development of the shortlisted projects and co-production of the bid. The Leyland Town Deal Board (made up of public, private and third sector representatives) were also involved from the outset. We held workshops to present the Board the evidence base, co-produce the vision and objectives and then to develop and refine projects.
- Wider stakeholder engagement, including consulting with key public and private sector stakeholders to produce a longlist of potential projects and then going out to wider public consultation with the final package of projects. The projects received 95% support from over 400 respondents in the local community. Effective and structured stakeholder engagement is an essential prerequisite to the development of successful and shared strategies, particularly important in the context of delivery and implementation focused work.
- Finally, the development and production of the outward-facing, desktop published, Town Investment Plan document that captures the underpinning evidence and strategic context, the vision, overarching Theory of Change and short- medium- and long-term targets, the chosen projects and their outputs, outcomes, costings, delivery plans, and the ongoing engagement and business case development plans.
The landmark bid was submitted in the second tranche of Towns Fund bids in late October 2020, and an online copy of the Leyland Town Investment Plan can be download here (PDF).
“We commissioned Steer-ED to assist us with the development of the Leyland Town Deal bid, given their extensive knowledge and experience in researching and developing economic regeneration projects and knowledge of Government funding processes. The Steer-ED team were fantastic in their support of our bid and provided a massive contribution to the team on this major game-changing project for the town. Their expertise and dynamic approach were very much welcomed by the Officers and the Town Board alike, which allowed them to seamlessly become part of the team. Steer-ED’s input has ensured we have a high-quality submission meeting multiple objectives that will truly change the shape of Leyland”.