MILLOM is set to receive £20.6m as part of the £3.6billion Towns Fund after being chosen in 2019 as one of 100 towns nationally to be invited to develop proposals for Town Deals.

The news comes as Prime Minster Boris Johnson sets out in a speech his vision for levelling up the UK, ahead of the landmark Levelling Up White Paper that will be published in the Autumn.

Mrs Harrison said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Millom has been successful in securing Town Deal funding from the Government and congratulate the Millom Town Deal Board, chaired admirably by Robert Morris-Eyton, and Copeland Borough Council for all their hard work, commitment and endeavour which have been instrumental in this success story for the town.

“Millom was identified as one of over 100 towns that could bid for a share in the £3.6 billion pound Towns Fund that was established to level up towns across the UK, create new jobs, help train local people and boost growth.

“I look forward to seeing the imaginative projects being delivered which will help to transform Millom for the benefit of residents and visitors for present and future generations.”

The Government launched the Towns Fund in 2019 to invest in towns and high streets across England as part of plans to level up regions.

Millom - and 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.

Improvement projects from the £500,000 funding boost as part of the Government’s Towns Accelerator Fund have since been completed, and includes enhancements to both Millom and Haverigg play parks, a new accessible cycling, running and walking track and a digital trail, celebrating famous Millom poet, Norman Nicholson.

Vice Chairman of Millom Town Board and Millom councillor, Fee Wilson, said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear the news that Millom Town Bid has been successful. The Board under the strong leadership of our Chair, Robert Morris-Eyton has developed a bid which I firmly believe addresses the needs and aspirations of the community of Millom and Haverigg.

“I am very grateful to our MP Trudy Harrison for her unstinting effort to help us achieve this goal as well as Mike Starkie, the Mayor Of Copeland and Pat Graham, Copeland’s Chief Executive for their support and guidance through this process. Millom and Haverigg are full of self-starters and we will need them to support and assist to deliver what I feel is a once in a lifetime opportunity from our Government to energise the community I am proud of and care about."

Bob Kelly, deputy mayor for Millom, said: “It is very welcome that we got so much money that has been approved.

“£20.6 million is a real boom for Millom.

“You have to realise though that it is only money that is authorised, it is not actual cash in hand.

“We have now got to develop plans over the next year to fully cost all the projects we were coming up with. There is a great deal of work to be done yet to get that money.

“We had four plans for four projects, two of them they have said they will fully fund.

“One was on the so-called Iron mine – tourist attraction around the old ironworks.

“And the other one is connectivity so the pathways that connect Millom and Haverigg, cycleways, pathways, they have been accepted by the government

“What they haven’t fully agreed to at the moment is the health and welfare part of it, which includes the swimming pool - they haven’t agreed to fully fund that.

“And the other one they haven’t fully approved was a project to repair or refurbish historic buildings in Millom.

“What we have to do now, is go through all the projects and try and justify the expenditure of each element of all the projects.

“It is excellent news for the town, but there may be frustration from the public in that first of all it is only a general approval, it is not a specific promise to pay for these things, we now have to justify it all.

“Secondly, the fact that it is going to be a 12-month delay, before we see anything begin in Millom, which could be frustrating.

“And thirdly, what was really wanted locally by people was a swimming pool and at the moment that is not certain, and as a towns fund bid team we will have to try to get that."