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Burton upon Trent - Towns Fund

Burton Town Deal Intervention Proposal

Burton upon Trent is one of 100 towns that have been selected to bid for up to £25m from the Towns Fund. 

In order to access this funding, a Town Deal Board has been established, a partnership made up of representatives from the community, public, and private sectors.

As part of this process, the Town Deal Board has been tasked with creating a Town Investment Plan for Burton, which is a document that sets out the vision and ambitions for the town if it were successful in its funding bid. The Town Investment Plan will build upon the 2019 Regeneration Strategy for Burton and will set out a number of proposed interventions to help ‘level up’ the town.

For more information on the Towns Fund, please refer to the Prospectus and the Further Guidance.

For information on the Town Deal Boards proposed interventions, please visit the Burton Town Investment Plan page.

The latest news and press releases can be found here.

The Town Deal Board

The Burton upon Trent Town Deal Board is made up of the following members:

 

Ben Robinson MBE, Chair

Ben Robinson MBE is the longest serving Chairman of Burton Albion Football Club, Chairman of the Consolidated Charity of Burton upon Trent, and owner of Ben Robinson Financial Advisors Ltd. Ben is the permanent Chair of the Burton upon Trent Town Deal Board.

 

Borough Cllr Duncan Goodfellow

Cllr Goodfellow was first elected to East Staffordshire Borough Council in May 2015 and he became Leader of the Council in May 2019.

 

Borough Cllr Bev Ashcroft

Cllr Ashcroft was first elected to East Staffordshire Borough Council in May 2019 and was appointed as a Cabinet Support Member in January 2020.

 

Borough Cllr George Allen

Cllr Allen was first elected to East Staffordshire Borough Council in May 2015 and he became Deputy Leader for Regeneration and Planning Policy in May 2019. Cllr Allen is also a Board member of both the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, both of which cover the Burton area.

 

County Cllr Philip White

Cllr White was first elected to Staffordshire County Council in May 2017 and he became the Deputy Leader for the Council in July 2020 as well as being appointed Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, after previously serving on the Cabinet in another position.

 

County Cllr Julia Jessel

Cllr Jessel was first elected to Staffordshire County Council in May 2017 and she became the Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change in July 2020. Cllr Jessel has also previously served as a Councillor at East Staffordshire Borough Council, during which she spent time appointed as a Cabinet Member and as Deputy Leader for the Council.

 

Kate Griffiths MP

Kate was elected as Member of Parliament for Burton and Uttoxeter in December 2019

 

Parish Cllr Dennis Fletcher

Cllr Fletcher is a Councillor for Winshill Parish Council and is one of two Parish Council representatives on the Town Deal Board. Cllr Fletcher is also a Borough Councillor, where he also represents the Winshill ward and is the Council’s longest serving active Councillor, first being elected in 1986.

 

Parish Cllr John McKiernan

Cllr McKiernan is a Councillor for Stretton Parish Council and is one of two Parish Council representatives on the Town Deal Board.

 

Chris Plant

Chris Plant is the Divisional Director of the Burton & District Chamber of Commerce.

 

Valerie Burton

Valerie Burton is a member of the Burton Civic Society, former Economist, and Trustee of the National Brewery Centre.

 

Shaid Hussain

Shaid is an owner of multiple businesses in Burton town centre and a representative of the Burton community.

 

David Chadfield

David is the Centre Manager for Coopers Square Shopping Centre in Burton town centre.

 

Mick Clifford

Mick is a member of the Burton upon Trent Civic Society.

 

Peter Hardingham

Peter Hardingham is a business owner in Burton town centre, former Centre Manager of the Octagon Shopping Centre, and a representative of the Burton community.

 

Former Board Members:

Cllr Philip Atkins OBE, Staffordshire County Council

 

Secretary to the Board:

Andy O'Brien, Chief Executive Officer, East Staffordshire Borough Council

 

Town Deal Board Terms of Reference

Function and Governance of the Town Deal Board

The Burton upon Trent Town Deal Board functions as an advisory cross-sector partnership that supports East Staffordshire Borough Council in it's role as the Lead Accountable Authority for Burton's bid to the Towns Fund. The Town Deal Board is made up representatives of the public sector, private sector, and the local community. The Board is supported by Officers from East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council, as well as commissioned support from Cushman & Wakefield. East Staffordshire Borough Council is the accountable body for the Town Deal Board.

As such, the primary role of the partnership is to:

  1. Identify and develop a longlist of proposed interventions for potential funding through the Towns Fund that will 'level up' Burton across a range of criteria;
  2. Work with key stakeholders and the public to consult on the longlist of proposals in order to establish a shortlist of priorities;
  3. Develop a Town Investment Plan that identifies a vision for the regeneration of Burton and how the shortlist of priorities will achieve this.
  4. Be the decision takers on the submission of the Town Investment Plan, subject to legal and financial complaince checks by the Lead Accountable Authority.

All members of the Town Deal Board have completed registers of interests and signed up to a Code of Conduct, which is based on the Seven Principles of Public Life.

Each member of the Board has an equal right to input into the discussion and development of the Town Investment Plan and each will hold an equal voting right on the finalisation of the plan, prior to submission to Government, where Board member interests will also be taken into account.

The Board is the only committee that oversee the development of the Town Investment Plan, there are no sub-committees or task groups and the Board is chaired by Ben Robinson MBE. Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, the Board meets on a monthly basis and at these meetings it receives reports, updates and presentations on the development of intervention proposals. These include updates from East Staffordshire Borough Council, Staffordshire Council and Cushman & Wakefield as the supporting organisations, as well as presentations from external organisations on their regeneration proposals for the town.

Decisions made by the Town Deal Board can be made electronically, via email, and the Board must be quorate to make a decision, unless a delegation of power has been made to the Chair of the Board. Any delegated decision must follow the principles of executive decisions set out by the Council's Constitution and must be recorded by the Secretary to the Board and shared with the Board within 3 working days.

 

Role of East Staffordshire Borough Council

As East Staffordshire Borough Council is the Lead Accountable Authority, the Council will be one of three signatories to the Town Deal - the other two being the Government and the Chair of the Town Deal Board. As such, the Town Investment Plan will follow the Council's Governance procedures and financial regulations prior to submissiont to Government, which will include a review of the plan by the Council's S151 Officer and Monitoring Officer.

Any work that is undertaken by the Town Deal Board will align with the Council's Constitution, including whistle-blowing, complaints, and conflicts of interest.

 

Role of the Town Deal Board Chair

As above, the Town Deal Chair is the other signatory to the Town Deal and his primary role is to co-ordinate the work of the Town Deal Board. The responsibilities of the Town Deal Board Chair include, but are not limited to:

  • Directing the work of the Town Deal Board;
  • Being the primary point of contact and spokesman for the Towns Fund work;
  • Setting the overall goals and programme of work for the Town Deal Board;
  • Facilitating the meetings of the Town Deal Board;
  • Holding a tie-breaking vote, if required;
  • and more.

There is no permanent Deputy Chair of the Town Deal Board.

 

The roles and responsibilities of the Town Deal Board, Lead Accountable Authority, and Town Deal Board Chair are in accordance with the published Further Guidance linked above.

Town Deal Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes

November 2019

December 2019

January 2020

February 2020

July 2020

September 2020

October 2020

 

The next meeting of the Town Deal Board will take place on Friday 4th December 2020.

 

Documentation for the meetings will be published as follows:

  • Agendas for future meetings will be uploaded within 5 clear working days of the meeting, where possible;
  • Draft minutes will be published within 10 clear working days of the meeting.
  • Approved minutes will be published within 10 clear working days of the following meeting, where they are approved.

Some of the minutes from the Town Deal Board meeting are redacted for reasons of commercial sensitivty under Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, paragraph 3. At such time in the future when the information is no longer considered to be commercially sensitive, the minutes will be updated with the unredacted versions.

Please note: The Town Deal Board did not meet between March 2020 and June 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, all activities were conducted electronically to ensure that work on the development of proposals for the regeneration of Burton upon Trent did not slow. Since July 2020, the Town Deal Board has met virtually using the Zoom platform. Any conflicts of interest identified prior to a vote of the Town Deal Board will be documented as appropriate.

Town Boundary

The proposed boundary for the Towns Fund is articulated by the map image at the top of this webpage, which outlines the proposed interventions. This boundary builds upon the Nomis boundary proposed by Government in order to incorporate recent and forthcoming developments as well as areas of environmental interest, such as the Washlands and riverside. The proposed boundary can be amended prior to the submission of the Town Investment Plan if there is an argument to do so, however this would be subject to approval from Government.

Initial Response to Proposals

The Stronger Towns Partnership received a substantial response to the consultation and stakeholder engagement events, all of which will be publicised in the coming days and weeks as part of feedback to the public including responses to frequently asked questions.

The public was made aware of the consultation through a wide range of methods: Coopers Square Shopping Centre pop up roll banners, social media, websites, Burton Mail, Radio, press releases and many WhatsApp groups. The partnership received over 900 responses through Survey Monkey web form (841 replies), written form and via email. This is the largest number of consultee responses the Council, as one of the partners making up the partnership, has ever received to a single consultation. There were also two rounds of Key Stakeholder Engagement workshops and we should not forget that there was extensive consultation in 2018/19 in respect of the Burton upon Trent strategy for regeneration, with both the public and key stakeholders, and on the My Town (Burton) Facebook page in November 2019. To this end, we believe the public has been very much involved in the process of developing the Town Investment Plan proposals.

Moreover, 89 % of the 861 survey monkey respondents said that they were supportive of the proposals with 62% saying they were ‘very much in favour’ of the Investment Plan proposals and the consultation response can be considered a representative sample within a margin of error of 3.25% at a 95% confidence level or 4.27% at a 99% confidence level. In short, the response to the consultation can be considered illustrative of the views of the general public of Burton. There is strong support for the proposals.

A main focus is, of course, the Washlands, the Market Place and High Street and helping the town integrate with Burton’s greatest green and blue asset, the Washlands. The idea is to boost the town economy and footfall. The vision outlined in the 2019 strategy is being adhered to in order to draw down up to £25m.

All town bids have to be submitted this Winter. Following suggestions already made, including those on the My Burton Facebook page, many key lines of enquiry have been followed which led to the consultation.

Chairman Ben Robinson said, “As a partnership we must now work tirelessly over the next few weeks before submission of the plans to Government during December. The board members attended a Zoom meeting last Friday which reviewed the consultation and engagement with its partner Urbed and we were impressed with the very positive feedback received. As part of this meeting, the Board discussed how the consultation response would inform the selection and prioritisation of proposals into a shortlist. We are also publishing a Frequently Asked Questions document to help further understanding and support for proposals even further.

Urbed, the independent company conducting the stakeholder engagement and public consultation, stated, “As a company that regularly facilitates public consultation, we were very impressed by the level of engagement with the Burton Town Investment Plan proposals – receiving nearly 900 completed questionnaires. As in all consultation, opinions differ, but what was clear to us is how passionate people are about this historic market town, with respondents dedicating substantial time and consideration into sharing ideas and offering valuable feedback on the proposed projects.”

Consultation FAQs

1. The rugby club is a privately owned club, why are they not funding the proposal themselves? Would other sports facilities close at nearby Shobnall? It is also an out of town site?

Burton upon Trent Rugby Club was established in the 1870s by local breweries and has a long history of providing sporting and community facilities to the local area in the centre of Burton. The club has grown in size reflecting its position in supporting the wider community, a role that the Peel Croft site cannot adequately support. To address this, the rugby club has acquired a new site at the new Branston Locks suburb of Burton (2,500 new homes, a new primary school in addition to the new secondary one, shops and businesses leading to economic growth, in due course). Its new location will help support and strengthen this new community, which itself is fundamental to the future sustainable and prosperous growth of Burton upon Trent as a town. The sports hub is complementary to and not in competition with the one at Shobnall Leisure Centre. The new sports hub will benefit both young people and adults looking to get into a number of new sporting activities, which in turn will have a positive impact on both physical and mental health in the community.

The establishment of the new sports hub presents an opportunity to establish a sustainable community facility for the Branston Locks suburb. All of the works cannot be delivered without additional public sector funding. The Towns Fund contribution would be in addition to significant private sector investment (c.£2m) from the Rugby Club and developer s106 contribution that have already been committed. The plans are to expand the facilities so that it can be used for other sports in addition to Rugby such as Cricket, Football, Tennis and Netball. BRFC aims to deliver 3 mixed use pitches, an all-weather pitch and a new clubhouse at the site for community use.

2. What benefits is a heritage hotel to the town? Will public access be restricted to the grounds?

The Sinai Park House is a Grade II listed building which is currently identified on Historic England’s at-risk register. The proposed project would repair and renovate the listed building to its former glory for use as a bespoke hospitality product. Sinai Park House will become a ten-bedroom venue, with indoor / outdoor space for events, a restored Georgian landscape and a ‘Chelsea’ garden and a centre of wellbeing funded by the Sinai Park House Trust.

Due to Sinai Park House’s close proximity to the National Forest and its status as a key historical building it is anticipated that the renovations will attract visitors and provide them with a unique opportunity to stay in Burton upon Trent. This intervention directly improves Burton upon Trent’s profile in the Region and will encourage people to visit more often, supporting the creation of an East West link between the Washlands to the east and the canal and rural Burton upon Trent to the west.

The significant costs associated with bringing this important heritage asset back into a state of repair suitable for redevelopment as a bespoke hotel render the project financially unviable. Public sector funding is therefore required to unlock the scheme and improve the visitor and tourism appeal of the adjoining National Forest, and in this case the Towns Fund has been identified as funder of last resort. If this proposal is put forward for funding through the Towns Fund, the Town Deal Board will work closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund to identify any opportunities for match and complementary funding in order to reduce the financial ask from the Towns Fund.

3. How will the University of Wolverhampton project help keep the Brewhouse sustainable? Is it not in competition with the College?

To enhance the University of Wolverhampton’s presence, the project proposes the development of a new Regional Learning Centre in the heart of Burton upon Trent Town Centre bringing into sustainable use the Brewhouse Arts Centre. The development of regional learning centre will not only benefit the University of Wolverhampton but will provide support for and act as a feeder into mainstream university and higher education.

To date, Burton upon Trent has a high level of lower skilled population, with approximately 50% only holding a level 1, 2 or 3 qualification. By creating a Regional Learning Centre in the heart of Burton upon Trent, near to the train station, higher level education will be accessible to all. The Regional Learning Centre would be located in the Brewhouse Centre, within the town centre, to ensure strong transport links are in place and to encourage footfall into the town centre. By re-purposing the Brewhouse centre, a key historical premises will also be maintained, ensuring the town’s heritage conservation.

Public sector funding is required to meet the costs of bringing the former Brewhouse into a suitable condition, to enable joint occupation by the Regional Learning Centre. This will create a long-term sustainable use for the building that is revenue generating and able to meet on-going maintenance costs, which will allow the Arts Centre to prosper and succeed alongside the new facility. In essence, introducing a second use to the building will also support the ongoing operation of the existing theatre.

There is a separate proposal to enhance the education offer of Burton and South Derbyshire College and it is not believed that the two proposals are in competition with each other and they both have very different offers that will help to address the skill gaps in the town and create opportunities for residents of all ages.

4. Tell me more about what underpins the ‘High Street Property Intervention’? Will historic buildings be demolished?

The Stronger Towns Partnership, through East Staffordshire Borough Council, is seeking to acquire existing land and property along High Street, including the current library site (if it is moved to the Market Hall, as part of one of the other proposals), where these buildings may be underutilised or risk falling into disuse.

Running from the Bargates to Andressey passage area, the idea is to create a wider development opportunity for mixed uses such as hospitality, housing and public realm that will complement the forthcoming Washlands Enhancement Project and integrate riverside into the High Street. Historic buildings would be retained and enhanced as part of this opportunity.

5. What are the main benefits of moving the Library to the Market Hall? Is it possible to keep it the library at the same scale? And how do we protect the market as an entity as well as individual traders?

The current Burton library was built in the 1970's has a footfall of 250,000 (2018/19 full year) but because of its current location many of these trips are not associated with any other activity in the town centre.  The consolidation of all County services into a “hub” model will bring additional footfall into the town centre whilst releasing the current library site for other regeneration projects at the river front.  The library offer at the Market Hall will be similar to the existing offer but all based on the ground floor making it more accessible.  In a recent similar scheme at Lichfield library, by moving the library from edge of town to an existing historic building in the town centre, the footfall increased by 95% in the first year since opening.  We believe that the same impact could be achieved in Burton and that this change in footfall would have a significant impact and increase the vitality in the Market Place area. The combination of office hub and library within the same building gives scope for an extension of library services into the early evening which will assist the early evening economy.

Whatever happens with this proposal the Partnership and the two Councils will support the Market traders by integrating them into the plans or will support them in endeavours closely nearby.

6. What are the main benefits of a Washlands cycle and pedestrian bridge? Does it duplicate the existing bridges? Which population will it serve? 

A new pedestrian / cycle bridge midway between St Peters Bridge and Burton Bridge will enable a better connection between the town centre and the Stapenhill Hollows area.  The population in the “Brizlincote Valley” will primarily benefit from significant time savings when walking or cycling into town. Residents of Winshill and Stapenhill will also benefit from a pleasant car free environment to travel into the town centre along the Washlands corridor as well as those who live beyond the town in South Derbyshire, taking vehicle flows off the existing bridges which act as bottlenecks at peak periods.

7. How will the proposed cycling provisions be joined up and comprehensive? 

The new additional routes will both extend the reach into the outskirts of wider Burton whilst also joining up gaps in the existing provision.  The attached plan was a late addition to the pack and maybe didn’t make it in time for the public consultation – hopefully it highlights the comprehensive nature of the finished network and also the significant new neighbourhoods that will have cycling options “unlocked” for them, enabling them to make more sustainable short trips into the town centre. The proposals build upon the County Council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, though which there was an extensive audit of the town’s cycle network that identified short, medium, and long term priorities for improvements.

8. Shouldn’t the A511 corridor improvements and A5189 St Peter’s Bridge proposals be funded by Staffordshire County Council?

The ability of SCC to fund such large scale infrastructure is limited to developer led projects, which can place the town’s infrastructure at a deficit before the improvements can be funded.  This external funding will meet the public desire to enable the infrastructure to be improved in advance of growth, improving vehicle flows into and out of the town, making it a more attractive place to visit, work or invest.

Outcome of Public Consultation

In October 2020, a public consultation of the Town Deal Board proposals was conducted by URBED. A copy of their reports summarising the findings of the Stakeholder Engagement and Public Consultation can be found here.

Residents were asked for their views on how funding could be used to help the town prosper and organisers were delighted with the number of people who engaged with the process.

In October, a public consultation of the Town Deal Board proposals was undertaken by an independent company commissioned to conduct the consultation and analyse the findings.

The proposed interventions were identified by the Town Deal Board as a way of addressing the challenges facing the town, such as connectivity and enterprise and skills, as well as  wanting to make the most of opportunities presented by the hidden heritage of the town and the significance of the river running through the centre of Burton.

Ben Robinson MBE, Chairman of the Town Deal Board, said: “It is reassuring to see that there was not a single one of the 11 proposals that had a net negative response from the Burton public. The Town Deal Board will now consider the findings of the public consultation and stakeholder engagement as it looks to create a final shortlist of intervention proposals for Burton’s bid to the Town’s Fund.

“I can confirm that in determining the final ranking of proposals, the public consultation and stakeholder engagement responses will each equal 10% of the overall score, totalling 20% together. The Town Deal Board’s ranking of proposals will also equal 10%, other evaluation criteria include benefit and cost ratios, alignment with the Government framework, evidence of need, and rationale.

The Town Deal Board received around 900 responses to the public consultation in addition to conducting two rounds of Key Stakeholder Engagement workshops, both of which build upon the significant consultation undertaken in 2018/19 that informed the Burton Regeneration Strategy.

URBED, the independent company conducting the stakeholder engagement and public consultation, stated: “As a company that regularly facilitates public consultation, we were very impressed by the level of engagement with the Burton Town Investment Plan proposals – receiving nearly 900 completed questionnaires. As in all consultation, opinions differ, but what was clear to us is how passionate people are about this historic market town, with respondents dedicating substantial time and consideration into sharing ideas and offering valuable feedback on the proposed projects.”