Column by the leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

There has been a lot of recent news relating to the Brimscombe Port regeneration project. A decision was made at strategy and resources committee that temporary stays for some of the Brimscombe Port tenants will finish at the end of June, as the site will be needed to start the work on bringing back the canal and the port. The committee heard the views of many people expressing their concerns, so we voted to increase support to find permanent homes for RUSH Skatepark and Grace Network, recognising the huge benefits which both bring to our community.

Helping with the Brimscombe Port development, SDC has just been awarded a £776,000 government grant to support infrastructure and flood alleviation measures. A further £200,000 has been granted to explore Stroud town centre regeneration through the redevelopment and re-location of publicly owned land and buildings as well as a pilot scheme for developing practical skills in the retro-fitting of public buildings. It is a project led by SDC with partners including Gloucestershire County Council, the Department of Work and Pensions, NHS Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Stroud Town Council and Network Rail.

So it was disappointing to read in the press criticism of the council for not submitting a bid for the ‘Levelling Up’ fund. All political parties agreed before the election we didn’t have the time to enter in the first round, when we would be competing against strong bids from Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, who rank higher than Stroud district on the Levelling Up priorities list. The minister has said there will be further rounds, so we will submit in the next round. Based on the council’s track record, we will aim for success.