The government has revealed additional detail about the investment of £20 million on its way to 55 towns across the UK – including Farnworth.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the investment totalling £1 billion on September 30 on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference.

Mr Sunak said the 55 towns across the UK, all of which he said are overlooked, were selected for the investment of £20 million over the course of a decade on the basis of determinants such as deprivation.

The government's Department for Levelling Up revealed additional detail about what it is calling its Long-Term Plan for Towns and in particular about the Town Boards responsible for the funding.

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Michael Gove, secretary of state for Levelling Up, said: "We are giving under-invested towns the support to get going on their long-term plan.

"Our Long-Term Plan for Towns makes sure communities can control their future and can invest in local priorities."

In Farnworth, and elsewhere, a board must be appointed by April 1 next year with a chair to be appointed as a champion for the town. 

This might be anyone with a prominent position in the town such as the head of a charity, an educational establishment or a sports team.

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The membership must comprise the MP, in this case Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, and a representative from the police, but all of the other spots are available to anyone with a passion for the area and its people.

A sum of £50,000 is available to appoint the board and to appoint the chair then another sum of £200,000 is available to start work. They must confirm their plan for the rest of the money by August 1 next year.

Some of the other towns in the North West in receipt of the funding are Ashton, Tameside; Chadderton, Oldham; Heywood, Rochdale and Leigh, Wigan as well as Accrington, Burnley, Darwen and Nelson in East Lancashire.

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This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.