Gordon has responded to the announcement by Theresa May on funding supporting towns.

He said: “So far the Government has given few details of this £1.6 billion fund which the Prime Minister announced in PMQs on Wednesday – and the money earmarked for town deals may prove to be only part of that £1.6 billion fund.

“Any new investment fund from Government would of course be welcome – so I will be pressing the Communities and Local Government Secretary urgently for the details of this and asking for a meeting with him and his officials, to bid for a decent share for Blackpool from any fund once it’s clear what it is.

“With stagnant unemployment figures in Blackpool – too many people on low paid and zero hour contracts, funding for council services cut heavily by Government – hundreds of millions of pounds since 2010 – and under resourced funding for our schools and police – both medium and long term funding from Government is needed. Our transience figures and deprivation statistics in parts of the town are some of the worst in the country – as I told the Education Secretary when I met him last summer on schools and deprivation issues. They should all put Blackpool at the front of the queue for towns funding.

“Our council have taken significant steps to look towards the future – on housing reforms and town centre regeneration – I’ve been working closely with them and the local community on selective licensing, their housing developments and the expansion of both the Airport Enterprise Zone and the opportunities on renewables given by Blackpool & Fylde’s new Energy College adjacent to it.

“I have worked closely with the Council, the Princes Trust and the Blackpool Pride of Place Partnership which produced the Blackpool 2030 study last year – and which I strongly support. That should be at the centre of our bid from Blackpool to Government. We need a step change that echoes the regeneration deal, which I played a leading part in enabling in 2010, between the last Labour Government and Blackpool Council. This saved both the Tower and Winter Gardens and put it into the town’s ownership, and paved the way for the Talbot Gateway and the regeneration plans now on offer.”

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