BOURNEMOUTH has secured almost £22 million in a 'landmark deal' to breath new life into Boscombe.

Civic officials say the money, part of the government's £1 billion Town Deal fund, will be used to 'turbo charge ambitious regeneration plans' for the district.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed Bournemouth as one of 45 towns to be awarded the funding during today's budget.

This means Boscombe will now benefit from a major regeneration programme which includes the replacement of the Sovereign Shopping Centre, new commercial units, hundreds of new homes and even a new public square where festivals and events will take place.

Bournemouth Echo: Boscombe Town CentreBoscombe Town Centre

BCP Council deputy leader and member for regeneration, Cllr Philip Broadhead, said: "We are delighted to secure this landmark deal, which will not only benefit Bournemouth but the whole BCP area. 

"With a focus on Boscombe and the surrounding area this external funding will unlock a number of significant regeneration schemes. 

"From job creation, skills and training, to new homes, and world leading digital connectivity, this is a significant moment for Bournemouth and the wider city region.

“We will invest in Boscombe’s infrastructure by creating a new urban neighbourhood offering a vibrant and attractive environment where people want to be and be seen."

Read more: Future of Boscombe plans unveiled

There are also plans to bring the Royal Arcade back into use by combining contemporary new workspace, skills and learning as well as arts and culture in the building.

Bournemouth Echo: What the town square could look like What the town square could look like

Haviland Road between Palmerston Road (Lidl) and Haviland Road West will also be restored as a street with wide pavements, cycle lanes, bus stops and tree planting all leading up to a new community hall and gardens. 

Cllr Broadhead insists the programme will include a "thriving mix of public spaces, cafes, shops, homes and places to work."

The council deputy leader said: "We will invest in the physical and digital infrastructure and expand our smart place programme offering the cutting edge leading digital technology that we know investors want.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Philip BroadheadCllr Philip Broadhead

“We want the BCP city region to be world class, one of the best coastal places in the world in which to live, work, invest and play. 

"Now is the time to invest with ambition in our place and our people as we look to rebuild out of the global pandemic and drive regeneration across the conurbation on a scale never delivered before. This has come at just the right moment to help make that happen. 

“With this in place we will get on and deliver at scale a mix of impressive regeneration schemes that will enhance our area, attract future investment and strengthen that sense of pride amongst our residents. Watch this space.”

BCP Council says better transport infrastructure and improving links between Boscombe town centre, the seafront, Pokesdown Train Station and AFC Bournemouth will also be funded through the investment.

In total, around 560 new homes, 6,700sqm of retail and leisure floor space and 4,800 sqm of commercial, community and health floor space have been earmarked as part of the plans. 

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Jane KellyCllr Jane Kelly

Councillor Jane Kelly, ward councillor for Boscombe, said: “This is a groundbreaking moment for Boscombe and is an absolute testament to the partnership working that has been fundamental in getting us to this position.   

Boscombe residents have played a key role in shaping the plans that were presented to government and I am thrilled that we have been able to secure this investment for the town.”  

Read more: Boscombe bids for major regeneration fund

As part of the bidding process the council submitted a town investment plan supported by the Bournemouth Towns Fund Board, a partnership made up of public and private sector partners as well as local community representatives.

Bournemouth Echo:

Jeff Mostyn, chairman of AFC Bournemouth, and chairman of the Bournemouth Towns Fund Board, said: “This is fantastic news for Bournemouth and the wider region.  
"It goes to show what can be achieved when you draw upon the collective knowledge, expertise and talent across our partners and the local community.”