Swindon will be handed £1m from the government’s Stronger Towns Fund.

Borough council leader David Renard called the cash a vote of confidence in the town.

He said the money would likely go towards projects like the Kimmerfields development.

Coun Renard told the Adver: “We’ve worked very hard as a Town’s Fund Board to pull together a set of proposals we thought government would like. They’ve released that million to us so we can get on [with it].”

He said it was for the board to decide where the £1m would be spent, but he hoped some of it would see its way to support the redevelopment of the Kimmerfields site off Fleming Way.

More than 100 towns have been given grants of between £500,000 and £1m. The cash is intended to fund projects that will make a difference to the area, like creating pop-up business spaces or encouraging more cycling and walking.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said of the £80m funding pot: “It will give towns across the opportunity to drive economic growth and improve prospects for their communities, which will be vital as the country respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We are fully behind our high streets and will support local areas to build back better.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Robert Jenrick, Communities Secretary Picture: PA

Last week, it was reported that ministers ignored the advice of top civil servants before investing millions into marginal Conservative constituencies.

Housing ministry permanent secretary Jeremy Pocklington told the House of Commons public accounts committee that ministers had decided to “apply their own qualitative assessment” in deciding on some of the towns and cities ultimately awarded cash from the fund. Out of 61 towns selected by the Communities Secretary and a junior housing minister, 60 were constituencies held by Conservative MPs or targets for the party, The Times reported.