With the Breaking News this morning that Hereford is to receive £22.4 million in towns fund funding to help push forward new projects and to boost the local economy, it’s worth reminding ourselves what the Stronger Hereford team is aiming to do.

Stronger Hereford Vision – Hereford aspires to be one of the greenest and fairest cities in the country, with fantastic opportunities and quality of life for people of all ages. Deeply rooted in our unique rural heritage, we’re blossoming into a richly creative, digital, connected and highly-skilled place to live, work, study, invest and visit.

PROJECT NO: 1 – Soil from the City

Soil from the City is a highly innovative, ambitious and achievable project, planning to divert commercial and municipal food waste from landfill and turn it into a resource to benefit the city. It will put Hereford at the heart of Britain’s emerging green technology sector and will contribute meaningfully to levelling up the city.

By using emission-free modes of transport, reducing vehicles on the road and reducing emissions by recovering resources, Soil from the City will contribute directly to the national Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan ‘Clean air’ target to reduce harmful emissions by 2030.

PROJECT NO: 2 – Electric Buses

Hereford “City Zipper” is an electric bus service connecting Hereford’s transport hubs with its cultural, retail and hospitality quarters as well as the city’s principal health facilities.

The “City Zipper’s” aim is to showcase quality zero emission public transport which, through its accessibility and convenience, will encourage people not to use their cars when accessing the core of the city. A ‘frequest’, turn up and go service will minimise the need for users to consult a timetable.

The service will be for a diverse ridership: residents (as 75% of trips into town are from other parts of Hereford), scholars and students, visitors seeking out the cultural sites, and those accessing retail and hospitality venues. A person arriving on a rural or inter-urban bus would find
it easy to interchange for the hospital, saving time and avoiding parking hassle. Visitors arriving by train would hop on and off the service to reach attractions, shops, inns and cafés in different parts of the city.

By targeting several markets the service will not only deliver real social value but also increase footfall and visitor spending without contributing to congestion and C02 emissions. The bus service’s bespoke brand will promote the city’s core values and heritage on its vehicles, in its literature and through its city stops. Driver training will include a thorough knowledge of the city and customer care. The “City Zipper” will be part of the welcome, adding to the urban fabric of Hereford.

The route will include the Station Medical Centre, Hereford Transport Hub and Railway Station, student accommodation, County Hospital, the Country and City Bus Stations, the Town Hall, St Owen Street (for Castle Green and Riverside), Maylord Shopping Centre, High Town, Broad Street (for cathedral and library), Hereford leisure pool and Old Market retail complex.

PROJECT NO: 3 – Greening the City

This project will seek to change the face of Hereford and significantly
improve the appearance and attractiveness of the city, linking it to its rural
hinterland. Key elements include interrelated greening, public realm, and
cycling/walking and digital connectivity initiatives, significantly enhancing
Hereford as a place to visit, learn, live, work and invest.


NMITE Future of Work Hub – NMITE Future of Work Skills Hub will be located in a technology-rich, flexible site in High Town and will support Hereford residents, from school leavers and NMITE learners to businesses and mid-career shifters. It will help individuals to understand and identify career opportunities as well as offering flexible support to enable them to reach their full growth potential. Young people transitioning into the labour market will be given help to secure high-quality, meaningful work placements, whilst employers will be empowered to develop structured,
age-appropriate content with SMART learning objectives. NMITE will work with the award-winning Skills Builder Partnership who have supported over 700 organisations to build high quality support and training.

PROJECT NO: 5 | SKILLS FOUNDRY 2 – HCA School of Creative Digital Futures

This flagship, industry-standard, teaching base on the Hereford College of Arts’ College Road Campus will turbo-charge the expansion of HCA’s new School of Creative Digital Futures. Curriculum areas will include film, animation, interface design, games design, social media content and creative digital marketing, Adobe training, app design and build, website creation, motion graphics, projection mapping, virtual and augmented reality and all other areas of digital innovation.

Capital investment will include hardware, software, upgraded campus connectivity, a new motion capture studio, and portable equipment such as free-range Virtual Reality equipment. There are Multiple connections between the partners within the Skills Foundry but in particular the School of Creative Digital Futures will have a fundamental collaborative partnership with the Foundry’s new city-centre Digital Culture Hub.

PROJECT NO: 6 – Maylord Library and Learning Resource Centre

Maylord Shopping Centre is a strategically significant site, with a footprint
of 145,000 sq ft in the heart of Hereford’s city centre. Herefordshire Council
secured control of the site through a £4.0 million acquisition in June 2020 to
enable its redevelopment to support the regeneration and the diversification of the city centre as a whole. The project will provide a master location for the relocated library which will evolve into a resource centre, creation of a new community re-use café and it will host expanded performance space for Powerhouse and a new Digital Culture Hub.

PROJECT NO: 7 – Holmer Extreme Sports Hub

To create and improve the current outdoor sports facilities located on Hereford’s Holmer Road.

Access to the hub will create a focus for a number of wheeled sports in the
city and wider county and will be almost entirely free of charge, optimising
accessibility and community physical and mental health benefits and
employment opportunities and wheeled based businesses in the area.

PROJECT NO: 8 – Castle Green Pavilion

This project will enhance a much-loved but neglected community asset, open up access to the River Wye and add significantly to the infrastructure of Hereford’s visitor economy. The refurbished pavilion will provide a revitalised home for the Youth Canoe Club, cafe facilities, a multifunctional and flexible community meeting space and a gallery celebrating local arts and heritage. The Pavilion has the potential to become the heart of creative and innovative youth development in the city.

PROJECT NO: 9 – The Marches Experience (Museum)

The project will establish a transformational world-class contemporary facility in the heart of Hereford with the capacity to accommodate our globally and nationally significant heritage assets such as the Magna Carta, Herefordshire Hoard and collections of antiquities dating back to the Ice Age, in addition to hosting national and international exhibitions.

The redevelopment will embrace the latest technologies such as Virtual Reality to tell the story of Herefordshire and the wider Welsh Marches region. The new museum will aim to attract progressive funding for heritage, culture and the arts to facilitate educational and cultural activity in the city and county, to strengthen community cohesion and engagement and to support the development of job opportunities in Hereford’s cultural sector.

PROJECT NO: 10 – Meadow Arts (Station Approach)

A new gateway programme of contemporary public art commissions to animate the Hereford College of Arts’ student accommodation building in Station Approach. This bold project will act as a vibrant statement of intent, signalling the city’s commitment to creativity and innovation. Significant commissioned artworks from high calibre artists will be generated, produced and installed on and around the building, potentially reaching
into the city itself.

PROJECT NO: 11 – Encore Music Hub

A Music and Skills Hub in the heart of Hereford meeting the needs of the whole community, including those with disabilities or those who do not engage with music and the wider arts. Encore delivers an extensive range of services to the community. These include a County Music Service, a wide range of well-established music ensembles and a developing range of adult services.

The Music and Skills Hub will regenerate a large retail unit in the city centre, giving opportunities for skills development and qualifications, and creating apprenticeships and jobs and attracting footfall. The project is low risk, as 60% of the services are already well-established and it offers the opportunity for significant growth.

PROJECT NO: 12 – Powerhouse

Transforming under-utilised space at Maylord Shopping Centre will result in the creation of Powerhouse: A centre for culture and the creative industries. The redeveloped space will stimulate creative, heritage and visitor economies, and connect community through live experiences and cultural programming, contributing to a renewed and reshaped city centre in a way that drives footfall and economic growth, through tourism and community engagement. Powerhouse, a theatre-making company, has developed cross sector partnerships with local independent businesses, Dakin Events and The Beefy Boys, to generate footfall and economic growth to the area.

The ground floor will consist of bookshop and social hub. The upper floor will be a large multipurpose space, allowing community classes and workshops, rehearsals and creative development resources, including breakaway digital studios and workspace.

PROJECT NO: 13 | SKILLS FOUNDRY 3 – Digital Culture Hub

The Digital Culture Hub (DCH) led by Rural Media in partnership with Hereford College of Arts (HCA) will create an ecosystem of digital creativity and innovation, marking the city/county out as a cultural leader in rural regeneration and social mobility. The DCH will aggregate in a single, contemporary space the creative technologies, tools and expertise to inspire and raise the skill levels in the county, to take advantage of the booming, post-Covid digital economy.

PROJECT NO: 14 – River Wye Infrastructure

Enhancement of the river and its surrounding infrastructure. This will include wide promenade style pathway that will enhance accessibility for
walking and cycling. Lighting and power points alongside Bishop’s Meadow and King George’s playing fields for community events, pop up cafés and markets. The project will involve a ramp leading onto the Great Western Way to connect the south and northside pathways for cyclists and the disabled. Pontoon at the Left Bank Village and Sea Cadets facility to increase utility and access, will provide a crane based at the Rowing Club/Sea Cadets for disabled access to vessels and boat removal from the river.

Digital signage will be provided, giving directions and information about events, local amenities and other community based offerings. Installation of seating along the north and south stretches of the river will encourage family engagement. This project will provide infrastructure that will support camping, tourism and “staycation”.


Southside will provide a vibrant, inspiring and inclusive sports, food and skills community focal point for the people of South Wye, the most deprived element of Hereford’s population. Southside is a collaboration between two highly energised established community organisations Growing Local CIC and Belmont Wanderers CIC, and NMITE, all of whom share a common goal to improve the future health, well-being, life-chances and employment skillset of the people of South Wye and Hereford. The heart of the project will be the creation of a single physical building – Southside – which will accommodate all partners.

Found out more – S20098D-Hereford-TIP-Document-NEW-FINAL-1.pdf (strongerhereford.co.uk)

Twenty-six towns in England will share over £610 million to boost their local economies, create jobs and help them build back better from the pandemic.

These new Towns Deals range from seaside towns like Hastings and Hartlepool to the historic market towns of Bedford and Bishop Auckland.

The money will help them to grow their local economies, while also carving out new opportunities to reshape the look and feel of their areas.

The Deals will help breathe new life into neglected areas or unused buildings by creating vibrant spaces for businesses, community events or much needed new homes.

Projects also include renovations to attractions like Hastings Castle helping to boost the cultural and tourism offers of towns.

Sustainability is at the heart of many of the schemes with new greener transport infrastructure including cycle paths and pedestrian walkways that will connect areas in the greenest way possible.

The Deals will also create thousands of jobs, with many towns investing in opportunities to improve skills through new vocational training hubs that will support high skilled and higher paid jobs in the area for local people.

These landmark deals will see hundreds of millions of pounds invested in projects across England including:

  • Hereford is set to use its £22.4 million investment to introduce a fleet of electric buses and regenerate the museum, library and art gallery into a unique modern visitor attraction.
  • Doncaster will use its £24.8m of investment to upgrade Doncaster Station Gateway and its surroundings by creating greener transport options such as cycle lanes and walking routes. The money will also be used to provide high-quality and attractive commercial space, boosting investment and increasing footfall to the town centre.
  • Hastings £24.3m investment includes a new green and Low Carbon Centre of Excellence that will provide new commercial space while also helping the Town seize the opportunities of the emerging green economy. It will also boost the Town’s tourism offer through improvements to the Castle and other public spaces.
  • Hartlepool will invest part of their £25m deal in a new Health and Care Academy and a Civil Engineering Institute to boost local skills as part of plans to support more higher-skilled, higher-paid jobs in the local area.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

We are levelling up towns and cities across the country by building stronger and more resilient local economies, boosting prosperity and opportunity in our communities, and helping them build back better from the pandemic.

Today I am announcing new town deals in 26 areas, backed by over £610 million investment from the Towns Fund. This will support locally-led projects to transform disused buildings and public spaces, deliver new green transport and create new opportunities for people to develop new skills. This is a boost for communities and businesses across England.

Today’s announcement means that 79 Towns Deals have now been agreed – totalling over £2 billion investment in communities across England.

This is part of comprehensive action by the government to level up opportunity and prosperity across all areas of the country, including through the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, the £220 million Community Renewal Fund and the £830 million Future High Streets Fund.

Building successful, thriving communities is at the heart of the Government’s levelling up agenda. As well as creating town centres that people want to work, rest and play in, the government is delivering the homes that people need where they need them, making home ownership a reality for many young people and key workers in the places they want to live. Last Friday the government announced the First Homes programme which provides a 30% discount to first time buyers.

Further Information

  • On 27 July 2019 the Prime Minister announced that the £3.6 billion Towns Fund would support an initial 101 town deals across England.
  • 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.
  • The offers announced today respond to locally led proposals put forward by the lead council and Town Deal Boards with representation from business, the local community, public sectors and local MPs.
  • A summary of all of today’s deals is set out below:
Ashfield (joint Kirkby & Sutton)£62.6m
Bishop Auckland£33.2m
Cleator Moor£22.5m
King’s Lynn£25m
Long Eaton£24.8m

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.