Exciting plans for Farnborough’s new leisure and cultural hub will be pressing ahead after Rushmoor Borough Council successfully secured £20 million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The council had put in a bid for funding towards the cost of the scheme and received the news late on Wednesday that it had been successful and that it would be receiving the full amount. 

Councillor Martin Tennant, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for major projects and property at Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “This is an amazing start to 2023. We are absolutely thrilled to have received the £20 million from the government. It’s now full steam ahead with our plans for the leisure and cultural hub, which we know our residents and local businesses are so keen to see.” 

The new hub will form an important part of the wider regeneration plans to create a new civic quarter, helping to transform the town and create a new community heart at its centre.  

The council’s vision for the scheme is for an iconic, forward-thinking, carbon net zero destination development that will provide new leisure facilities alongside library, cultural and community spaces, including a play area, skate park and parking.  

Councillor David Clifford, Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that in awarding us the full amount, the government acknowledged that we had submitted a strong bid and we are grateful for their confidence in our proposals. We also really appreciate the support of our local MP, Leo Docherty, in making a strong case for Farnborough." 

The £20 million will provide around half the money needed for the new development and the council will now start to design the scheme with its users and work through the funding details. As part of that, it is also keen to work with the local people to create a facility that they will be proud of.

The masterplan planning application for the wider civic quarter site is expected to be considered by the council’s development management committee towards the end of February. 

The project is one of more than 100 to receive a share of £2.1 billion from Round 2 of the government’s Levelling Up Fund. A full list is available on the government's website.

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