Ian Levy – 2021 Speech on the Towns Fund

The speech made by Ian Levy, the Conservative MP for Blyth Valley, in the House of Commons on 4 February 2021.

As the first Conservative MP for Blyth Valley, I have been given the opportunity to help breathe life into my hometown, which has been neglected for many decades. Having lived in Blyth all my life, I have seen at first hand the decay and abandonment that the town centre has experienced, despite its great potential. I was delighted when the town centre was awarded £11.12 million of funding from the future high streets fund, to allow for much-needed investment and improvement.

The towns fund provides limitless opportunities for regions across the country to unleash their full potential, while delivering on the Government’s agenda to level up. Such investment has the capacity to dramatically improve, regenerate and unite towns and communities across this wonderful country of ours. In Blyth, the funding will support the revitalisation of Blyth marketplace and Bridge Street by providing new leisure and cultural facilities at the heart of the town centre. As part of the recovery from the pandemic, the announcement on 25 September that shovel-ready projects in the constituency will be given a £750,000 boost was particularly welcome. I am extremely pleased that major work will start soon on improving Bowes Street, which will immediately make a real difference to the town.

In addition, the £1.5 million of funding confirmed for the reopening of the Northumberland rail line will transform the town centre into a flourishing, prosperous and vibrant one. This allocation of funding is a great testament to those at the heart of the community who show great resolve and overcome the challenges we face, working together, and I am confident that Blyth will have a bright and prosperous future for generations to come.