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Regeneration in Loughborough
As part of the Government’s Towns Fund, the Loughborough Town Deal was brought to life to build on the town’s economic success. Overall, it aims to improve the functionality of the town, make it smarter and greener, and better equip the community for the future. This is all to benefit residents and visitors of Loughborough – contained in 11 projects, valuing £40 million.
Despite launching in 2021, the deal nicely coincides with the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill and the Long-Term Plan for Towns, published as recently as October this year. So far, £5.8 million of the £16.9 million awarded to the projects has been fulfilled.
From increasing residents’ skills and employability through the creation of digital and creative hubs to maintaining key heritage sites and improving the community’s high streets and connectivity – regeneration in the Loughborough Town Deal ultimately aims to build on the benefits for locals and tourists. Doing so strengthens its economy and demand. But what are some of the regeneration projects gracing Loughborough?
Loughborough University is known for its excellence in sports-related courses, placements, and facilities. Because of this, its university’s Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) has seen a £2.6 million expansion. SportPark Pavillion 4 will heighten Loughborough’s immense sporting reputation, increase student attraction, and improve the health of locals.
Loughborough College has seen a £2.6 million Digital Hub join its grounds. This hub will aid local businesses still emerging from the pandemic and enhance the skills of young people and both the employed and unemployed through training and work placements. Equipping residents and the next generation with better digital and transferrable skills will improve their employability and strengthen Loughborough’s economy.
The Great Central Railway in Loughborough was Thomas Cook’s first one-day rail excursion in 1841. This landmark route between Loughborough and Leicester carried 500 passengers for just a shilling and birthed Thomas Cook’s travel agency from its roaring success. Since then, people have used this route in homage to the Golden Age of Steam, riding the steam train between the two stations like centuries before. The Great Central Railway is the only place in the world where passengers can experience a double-track steam railway, where two steam trains can pass each other at full speed. Themed events at weekends and in the summer attract tourists from across the country. The £280,000 regeneration into one of Loughborough’s key attractions will build on its heritage, enhancing it as a global destination.
Loughborough is home to the UK’s last working major bell foundry. John Taylor’s Bell Foundry has sourced over 25,000 church bells since 1859 for over 100 countries, earning Loughborough the nickname ‘Town of Bells’. 47 of these iconic bells sit in the town’s own WWI Carillon Tower, which is regularly rung for proud locals. This regeneration project in Loughborough has £835,000 invested to maintain this historic attraction.
This is a key regeneration scheme in the Loughborough Town Deal. It aims to improve the market town’s high street, town centre, and overall connectivity. £1.7 million is invested into Loughborough’s high street and £669,000 is going towards better connecting Queen’s Park with the town centre.
A £900,000 careers hub has recently opened its doors in Loughborough town centre, aiming to support and enhance residents’ skills to help them unlock better employment opportunities.
Loughborough’s Generator Hall is undergoing a £1.6 million restoration into a large community venue for creative arts and events. This will better connect locals and aid in future town events.
Two regeneration projects in the Loughborough Town Deal surround its waterways. This ranges from £2 million invested into its Flooding Defence Scheme and the £885,000 grant to improve the town’s canals. In particular, the historic 2km River Soar towpath has transformed into a greener, safer, traffic-free route through town. The path is wider with terrain better suited to all year round and both pedestrians and cyclists. Also, 24 more boat moorings have been installed, as well as a strengthened 100m canal bank. In all, more attractive canals create a much more relaxing and welcoming setting for locals and visitors, strengthening Loughborough’s economy.
Further investment into Loughborough’s markets, as well as more regular community events, are all part of the £2.8 million Living Loughborough project. It revolves around improving life in the town centre. This also includes an extension of the town’s free Wi-Fi and an augmented reality heritage trail to celebrate its rich history and aid tourism.
The many regeneration projects in Loughborough are not the only reason to look towards this peaceful market town. Nestled between Leicester and Nottingham, and just an hour away from Birmingham, Loughborough is a prime commuter hub. Whether commuting to neighbouring towns or cities, or needing to reach airports, the North, South, or any shore – the Midlands is the literal perfect middle ground.
Voted for having the ‘best university in the world for sports-related subjects’ for the seventh consecutive year, students and young professionals make up the majority of Loughborough’s high rental demand. Long gone is the demand for HMOs. In recent years, the best type of property investment for students has been high-quality single lets.
Whether pursuing a traditional assured shorthold tenancy or short-term let, both buy-to-let options are perfect choices for Loughborough. Long-term tenancies are excellent for students and the recently graduated, who want to spark their professional career. But even short-term lets are great options. They are ideal for those attending open days, visiting students, or students themselves graduating.
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