'Spend remaining million on Desborough, Rothwell and Burton Latimer' says councillor

The leftover million in Kettering Council’s regeneration pot should be invested in Desborough, Rothwell, Burton Latimer and the surrounding villages, a councillor has argued.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 7:00 am
The left over regeneration funds should be shared between the other towns in the Kettering borough says Cllr Hakewill.

Kettering Council is proposing to spend £2.2m of its long-standing £3.8m regeneration fund on improvements to the historic centre of Kettering’s market town. It plans to give grants so businesses can spruce up shop fronts as well as making money available so that flats above shops can be renovated. The High Street vista will also be improved.

The cash will be hopefully be match-funded by the heritage lottery with a decision due at the end of this month (Jan).

But while councillors have widely backed the move, saying that improvements are long overdue, independent councillor Jim Hakewill believes the remaining funds should go to neighbouring areas.

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Cllr Hakewill says it is all about fairness and the rest of the borough should be treated the same way as Kettering.

He said: “It is only fair that as Kettering is having £2.2m spent on it, with another £2m to come in, that the remaining money should be divided and handed over to the other areas.

“There is a feeling in other parts of the borough that Kettering does receive more than other areas.

“The money could be handed over to the town councils of Desborough, Rothwell and Burton Latimer in the form of a ring-fenced grant and we also have a current grant scheme for villages that could be topped up.”

With the borough council due to be abolished and replaced with a unitary council next year Cllr Hakewill fears the money – which was originally awarded from government in 2005 as part of business incentive grant – could be swallowed up into a collective unitary pot. There is the possibility then that the funds could be spend on other towns outside the Kettering borough.

Cllr Mark Dearing, who is the portfolio holder for regeneration at Kettering Council, has been contacted for comment.