GREAT news this week that the Government will provide significant funding to allow Holy Cross College, East Ward Community Primary, Elton Community Primary, St Thomas CE Primary and Tottington Primary School within my constituency to carry out improvement works on their buildings benefitting pupils and staff.

This however is only the start with a further £1.9bn to be invested throughout the country, allowing poor condition and ageing school buildings to be replaced and essential maintenance projects to be carried out.

Improving our school buildings is only part of an infrastructure revolution announced by the Prime Minister with £5bn to be spent as part of this government’s aim to level up the country together with supporting our economy and protecting jobs.

However to ensure Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington benefit from this investment we must have a vision for our areas regeneration and plans ready to go so we are able to provide the affordable housing, green infrastructure and vibrant town centres we all want.

This week the Prime Minister announced £900m for 'shovel-ready' local growth projects in England. Sadly Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington are unlikely to benefit from these monies as we have no 'shovel-ready' projects for the government to invest in and this must change. Bury Council must develop with other stakeholders, projects that can improve the lives of everyone in our area and act now.

Radical reforms to the planning system will allow development to happen quickly in our town centres. Millions of pounds are available to support the regeneration of brownfield sites and deliver the truly affordable homes we need.

I welcome investment in Bury Market but the plan is not bold enough. We must have a transformative vision to ensure Bury Market and other important sites have the best facilities to support our local economy and create jobs. Our brilliant Bury College is well placed to take advantage of the £3bn national skills fund and cultural venues like the Met need further support so they are able to expand their work.

Bury Council has borrowed over £13m to assist Manchester Airport’s survival and we must have a similarly ambitious approach to investment in local community assets that can positively impact our local economy.

All politicians must work together to deliver the enhanced infrastructure, homes and jobs our communities need and deserve. But action must be taken now.