Stroud District Council have submitted a bid for £15 million worth of levelling up funding that could transform the area’s gateways, connections, and key sites.
The funding will go towards the regeneration of important spaces in the town, by transforming them into locations that can provide residents with a sense of pride, as well as a place where they are happy to spend their time. Projects include green space in Wallbridge being transformed, land will be purchased to develop homes, and 11 new affordable business incubator units in the Five Valleys Shopping Centre.
Cultural sites being redeveloped is a large part of the second round of the government’s levelling up plans, and Stroud is no different. Lansdown Hall, Subscription Rooms, and Brunel Goods Shed will all be given internal improvements as well as ramped access being put into aid accessibility.
Whilst net zero is not directly part of the levelling up strategy, there are often similarities between the two plans. Stroud District Council are intending to make it easier for pedestrians, cyclists, and those who use public transport to access the town, whilst also supporting their transition to net zero. Improved cycle routes and pedestrian walkways in Wallbridge, Rodborough, and the town centre, as well as opening up the car park at Brunel Mall to reduce traffic in the town centre and add additional parking to the station. Bus facilities will also be improved.
Doina Cornell, Leader of Stroud District Council, said:
“We know that Stroud is one of, if not the best place in the UK to live, work and visit.
We can see the potential the town has to be even greater, with Levelling Up Fund investment. We want people coming in town to have gateways that welcome and invite.
Our bid honours Stroud’s past by preserving its historical and cultural identity, it addresses the needs of the present and opens our town up to all.
It secures the future for visitors and the vital economy they bring, for the businesses who can see the potential the town has and what it can offer and to the people who choose to live here in years to come and continue to make Stroud the best place to live.”
Thanks to the criteria of the bidding process, some of the improvements that are required in Stroud could not be included, however the District Council is working alongside some of the key stakeholders as part of a LUF Task Force to complete other improvements in the vicinity of the town centre that will have wider benefits. These stakeholders include Stroud Town Council, Great Western Railway and Gloucestershire County Council.