Swale Borough Council have confirmed that they have submitted a levelling up bid to the government, with the aim of driving improvements in health, education, leisure, and employment opportunities in Sheerness.
As part of the Sheerness Revival project, government funding will be used to “delvier real improvements” in the town. The existing health centre will be expanded to provide better services, new courses will be on offer from Sheppey College to provide young people with more training and education opportunities, and a creative workspace will be created with the conversion pf the Master’s House studios, with the potential to help create and support local jobs.
Chair of the regeneration and property committee, Cllr Monique Bonney, said:
“We need to make sure we submit a well thought out bid to take advantage of the opportunities from the Levelling Up Fund, so we can make a real and lasting difference to local people’s lives and opportunities.
“We’ve spent months working with the local community to come up with options and costings for ideas and plans.
“I don’t think Swale has ever bid for something on this scale before, and we’ve had to work hard with our partners to put together a strong bid that ticks all the boxes the Government want.
“For this funding, we had to have the endorsement of the local Gordan Henderson, who has not hesitated with his support of the plans.
“Now the bid is submitted we have a nervous wait until the autumn to hear if they’ve been successful.
“This is a major step towards the revival of Sheerness, with benefits that spread across the whole island.”
Alongside the improvements to the quality of opportunities for employment and education, there will also be improvements to the areas around the train station, connecting the centre of the town to the station much better. Increasing footfall in the town will help drive investment, potentially continuing the growth of the town long after the money from the Levelling Up Fund has been used.
Member of Parliament for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Gordon Henderson, said:
“I’m delighted to support this bid by Swale Council.
“It is very important that we work together to do what we can locally to level up, by improving the economy on the Isle of Sheppey and providing more employment opportunities for local people.
“If successful, the funding from the Government will help the Council achieve that.”
Leisure will also be improved with the funding, as new soft play, adventure golf, an outdoor gym, and a new café will be provided at Beachfields to provide more for residents, as well as expanding the list of things that visitors can do when in the town.
The delivery of a new swimming pool was going to be part of the levelling up bid, however budget constraints have meant that it will now form part of a second phase of the project.