LEIGH'S MP has spoken of his delight and pride in helping to secure a £20m investment to regenerate the town.

As previously reported by the Journal, Leigh was named on a list of 55 "overlooked" towns that will be granted £20m over a ten-year period to help improve high streets and tackle anti-social behaviour.

The £1billion nationwide investment, which was made ahead of the Conservatives' Party Conference in Manchester, is said to be putting "funding in the hands of local people” to improve their communities.

READ > Crackdown on anti social behaviour with highest number of closure orders

Leigh Journal: A revamped Civic Square was part of the council's Levelling Up plansA revamped Civic Square was part of the council's Levelling Up plans (Image: Wigan Council)
There have been previous rows over regeneration plans in Leigh, after the town missed out on desperately needed funds from the government's Levelling Up scheme in January.

Senior councillors said that the £11.4m bid failed because the town's MP, James Grundy, failed to accept the submission.

Mr Grundy stated that the "inadequate" bid was "doomed to fail" as it did not have enough support from local people and was not for the full £20m available.

However, despite the disagreements between the MP and council, Leigh has now been successful in securing millions of pounds in funding, to be spent over the course of a decade.

With plans to grow the local economy in "overlooked" towns, the funding is set to prioritise the regeneration of high streets, boosting visitor numbers and public transport, and tackling anti-social behaviour to make towns a safer place.

Decisions on where the funding will be spent will be decided on by a new 'Town Board' which will include the town's MP and representatives from Wigan Council and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Leigh Journal: Mr Grundy spoke of his delight at helping to secure the fundingMr Grundy spoke of his delight at helping to secure the funding (Image: James Grundy MP)
Commenting on the 'Plans for Towns' funding, James Grundy MP said: "I am delighted at the announcement that the Government has awarded an additional £20 million pounds of funding for the Leigh constituency as part of the Conservative long term plan for towns.

"I also welcome that we will be one of the first towns in the country to benefit from this new funding, and I'm very proud to have helped secure this desperately needed money for our community.

"This funding can be used to cover such areas as high street and heritage regeneration, transport improvements and public safety improvements.

"This funding will be allocated by a board which will include representatives such as myself as local MP, a representative of the Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, as well as local business and other interests with a stake in the future success of our town.

"Whilst the formal mechanism for appointing the board has not yet been published, I hope we can put together a very strong team to help deliver on the priorities important to local residents."