25 August 2021

The first project to be funded through the Government’s Towns Fund for Stocksbridge in north Sheffield has been unveiled this week.

The major improvements to Stocksbridge Leisure Centre and the adjoining Oxley Park have now been completed and opened to the public – it’s the first piece of work in the strategic long-term plan to deliver a £24.1 million investment across the town.

The £500,000 accelerated funding project has allowed much needed improvements to be made to the Leisure Centre; creating outdoor seating and a brand-new and modern children’s play area which links the centre’s café to the park.

Access has also been improved with new footpaths and landscaping as well as better laid out parking for both cars and bikes.

Ten further projects – including a second phase of Oxley Park improvements are also outlined in the Stocksbridge Town Investment Plan which was approved by the Government in March this year when £24.1 million was pledged for the town.

Work started on the first phase of the Leisure Centre and Oxley Park improvements in February, the new facilities are now open to the public and being enjoyed by the local community.

The Friends of Oxley Park have assisted with volunteer work and consultation and the tree planting in the new play area has been carried out by the local charity Steel Valley Project. Contractors EC Surfacing and Kompan Ltd have also worked on the project which has been project managed by Sheffield City Council.

The wider bid will deliver a range of projects across the town, aimed at transforming the fortunes of the town and building a sustainable future for residents and businesses.

Work is now underway on the business case for the projects and further public consultation will be announced early in the autumn.

The Towns Fund projects include:

  • A major redevelopment of part of Manchester Road in the town centre including a new library and community facilities
  • Public realm improvements to the Manchester Road area as well as better links to other parts of the town
  • A post 16 hub at Stocksbridge High School
  • A new local community bus network
  • Improvements to walking and cycle trails

The Towns Fund Board is co-chaired by Mark Dransfield, Managing Director of Dransfield Properties and the Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates, and is made up of stakeholders and local volunteers, as well as officers from Sheffield City Council and Deputy Leader Cllr Julie Grocutt, representing both Sheffield City Council and Stocksbridge Town Council.

Graham Silverwood, from the Community Leisure Centre Trust and member of the Towns Fund Board said: “These improvements are absolutely fantastic, and it is wonderful to see the difference the investment is already making to our local community.

“Everyone has worked so hard to turn these plans into reality in a short space of time and it really does show what can be achieved when we work together.”

Co-Chair of the Towns Fund Board, Miriam Cates MP, said: “These improvements will really make a difference to how people use and access this important local facility and its great to see this initial project has now been completed.

“We are looking forward to the next stage in the wider bid process now and talking to local residents about the exciting and transformational plans which make up our Town Deal and Investment Plan.”

Cllr Julie Grocutt said: “The new facilities have been so popular over the school holidays and its lovely to see this space being used by families. Further improvements to Oxley Park and the Leisure Centre are a key part of the next phase of the funding and we’ll be talking to local people about this more in the coming weeks.”

Dates for further public consultation on the Towns Fund projects will be announced early in the autumn.

For more information contact Amanda Holmes on Amanda.holmes@sheffield.gov.co.uk or 07747 621902.

You can also visit the Stocksbridge Towns Fund website at www.welcometostocksbridge.co.uk

ABOUT THE TOWNS FUND

On 27 July 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement. PM speech at Manchester Science and Industry Museum – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision. See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals. list-of-100-places.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place towns-fund-accelerated-funding-grants.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)