We promised to level up towns like Scunthorpe, and the £3.6 billion towns fund provides just the opportunity to make some of the meaningful, real-life differences that we have talked about before in this Chamber. We have a Conservative council in North Lincs. I served on it for five years. I know that it is used to getting the absolute most from every single pound that it has available to it. We are not backward in coming forward in Scunthorpe, and we have already secured future high streets funding of over £10 million, but there is more to be done.
I have lived in the Scunthorpe area all my life. I love my home town and I want our young people, many of whom I have met over the past year, to have opportunities and jobs that mean they want to stay close to home too. Scunthorpe is a great place to live, to build a family and to grow a business, and we can make it even better. In addition to this, our area has applied for free port status. Connectivity is another of our strengths, and it will amplify the returns of a towns fund investment. Situated south of the Humber, we are a strategic mid-point between Immingham dock, Humberside airport, Hull, Lincoln, Grimsby and Doncaster.
As a region, we are really ambitious. The Minister will see that our towns fund proposals bring to life the Government’s levelling-up goals. Under the diligent chairmanship of Mary Stewart, the board has listened to residents’ views, and in true northern style we have eked out the best possible value we feel we can get for our area. These proposals will deliver real bang for our buck. I hope that the Minister will share my enthusiasm both for the projects and for my home town.
Of course, we must and we will continue to celebrate our world-class steelmaking and our proud industrial heritage. However, we also recognise the importance of resilience and industry diversification. This includes the delivery of an advanced manufacturing park, the creation of a new cultural arts and heritage offer in our urban centre, and sustainable, lifelong integration of skills.
Through the formidable business team led by Lesley Potts, we have seen our local council demonstrate their ability to deliver these projects, time and time again. We are a really safe pair of hands for the towns fund. We are genuinely ambitious for our area, and look forward to working with the Government on the towns fund to deliver for local people.