Rishi Sunak announces list of 55 towns that will each receive £20m over 10 years

The Prime Minister and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have announced that 55 ‘left-behind’ towns will receive £20 million each to revive their high streets, create more housing, tackle anti-social behaviour, improve transport and grow the local economy.


The plan states that “needless red tape” will be removed for change of use applications and an automatic right to convert empty commercial buildings into homes for local people will be granted.

Sunak states that he will establish a ‘towns taskforce’ reporting directly to him. The taskforce will work on reforming licensing rules to make it easier for towns to repurpose buildings and create more housing in town centres.

As part of the plan, town boards, with representation from community leaders, employers, local authorities, and local MPs, will be set up.

The plan states that town boards will be encouraged to work with the local planning authority to produce local development orders, though no designated board positions for planning authorities are earmarked in the report.

Victoria Hills, chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute said that the government’s announcement of town boards “shows a welcome focus on local communities having a direct say on the future of their areas”.

Hills added: “We would argue strongly that local planning authorities with their intimate knowledge of the towns they serve should be invited to join these boards to provide their professional knowledge and to ensure their success.

“We also offer our support to the Towns and High Streets Taskforce to provide an expert voice from the planning profession.”


Region Local Authority Town/Place
East Midlands Mansfield Mansfield
East Midlands Boston Boston
East Midlands Bassetlaw Worksop
East Midlands East Lindsey Skegness
East Midlands Newark and Sherwood Newark-on-Trent
East Midlands Chesterfield Chesterfield
East Midlands Nottingham Clifton (Nottingham)
East Midlands South Holland Spalding
East Midlands Ashfield Kirkby-in-Ashfield
East of England Tendring Clacton-on-Sea
East of England Great Yarmouth Great Yarmouth
North East Redcar and Cleveland Eston
North East South Tyneside Jarrow
North East Sunderland Washington
North East Northumberland Blyth (Northumberland)
North East Hartlepool Hartlepool
North East County Durham Spennymoor
North West Blackburn with Darwen Darwen
North West Oldham Chadderton
North West Rochdale Heywood
North West Tameside Ashton-under-Lyne
North West Hyndburn Accrington
North West Wigan Leigh (Wigan)
North West Bolton Farnworth
North West Pendle Nelson (Pendle)
North West Knowsley Kirkby
North West Burnley Burnley
South East Hastings Hastings
South East Rother Bexhill-on-Sea
South East Isle of Wight Ryde
South West Torbay Torquay
West Midlands Sandwell Smethwick
West Midlands Walsall Darlaston
West Midlands Wolverhampton Bilston (Wolverhampton)
West Midlands Dudley Dudley (Dudley)
Yorkshire and The Humber North East Lincolnshire Grimsby
Yorkshire and The Humber Wakefield Castleford
Yorkshire and The Humber Doncaster Doncaster
Yorkshire and The Humber Rotherham Rotherham
Yorkshire and The Humber Barnsley Barnsley
Yorkshire and The Humber North Lincolnshire Scunthorpe
Yorkshire and The Humber Bradford Keighley
Yorkshire and The Humber Kirklees Dewsbury
Yorkshire and The Humber Scarborough Scarborough
West Wales and The Valleys Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil
West Wales and The Valleys Torfaen Cwmbrân
East Wales Wrexham Wrexham
East Wales Vale of Glamorgan Barry (Vale of Glamorgan)
West Central Scotland Inverclyde Greenock
Southern Scotland North Ayrshire Irvine
Southern Scotland East Ayrshire Kilmarnock
West Central Scotland North Lanarkshire Coatbridge
West Central Scotland West Dunbartonshire Clydebank
Southern Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Dumfries
Highlands & Islands Moray Elgin