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Funded by UK Government

Stevenage Development Board

The Stevenage Development Board was set up in March 2020 to formulate a bid for the national Government’s Town Fund initiative. Stevenage were one of 101 towns in England invited to bid, and were successfully awarded £37.5m in March 2021 following the submission of the Stevenage Town Investment Plan, set out and ratified by the Stevenage Development Board.

The Stevenage Development Board is chaired by businessperson Adrian Hawkins OBE, the Independent Chair. The Board brings together voluntary key stakeholders from public sector organisations, private businesses, not-for-profit organisations and Heritage organisations, to ensure a diverse range of views are represented. Thanks to the effort of all of those involved, Stevenage secured the second highest bid in the country one of only two awarded at that level. The Board has been working in collaboration on a Town Investment Plan with a clear vision, strategy and delivery proposals, that supports local residents and businesses and has extended its vision to a Gunnels Wood Road improvement scheme and the vital Station Gateway project.

The independent Stevenage Development Board continues to provide strategic oversight for the Towns Fund projects, with all its members working together for the regeneration of the town.

Adrian Hawkins

Adrian Hawkins

A message from our Chairman Adrian Hawkins OBE in relation to the Towns Fund bid was…

“Our vision was ambitious, our plan clearly deliverable, and the message was simple: investing this money in the future of Stevenage is an investment in the future of our country, in the future of our children, and will unleash over £600m of private investment to supercharge UK businesses, as we once again unify in a time of great national need and set a new blueprint for innovation at the heart of a 21st Century New Town.

“I am delighted to announce this, not least because Stevenage is the town where I grew up in a council house, the town which gave me the chance to build my own business and a place which I hold so dear.

“This will now see not just an investment in buildings and infrastructure, but an investment in the people, to improve their lives and to boost their skills to enable them to engage with local employers and local employment.

“It is urgent that we now consider how we accommodate, expand and deliver skills to our important science-based industries in the Town and ensure that they have the environment to develop, expand and employ locally. The businesses and sectors located in Stevenage are competing on a global level, and their success is intrinsically linked to our national economy – our residents simply cannot and will not be left behind.”

The message since this first level of success is…

“The Stevenage Development Board have continued work to oversee the regeneration of the town in other areas since the Town Investment Plan bid, and helped to secure public and private investment potentially totalling £2.2 billion today and a further £700 million in the future. This level of investment will impact and improve vital infrastructure, encourage further employment areas and offer life changing technology to the world.

“The impact of the Bioscience Catalyst and Catapult here in Stevenage is such that over the past 12 years, they have significantly changed health provision with many new treatments arriving in the future. The success of these is encouraging the creation of a new Space and Communications cluster to form and deliver defining STEM technology in this sector.

“Airbus will be at the centre of this cluster having recently received funding from the U.K. Space Agency to start this process. The past success of Airbus Stevenage has delivered Sky TV to our homes and supported the platform and delivery of Europes Galileo.

“We can readily look to the future for our town in these STEM technology areas which makes our investment decision for the Stevenage Innovation & Technology Centre all the more vital in inspiring the great people of Hertfordshire.

“We exist to make Stevenage Even Better for everyone”.

Stevenage Town Deal
Public Meeting Pack

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Town Deal meeting pack.

Towns Fund

Find out about the projects being delivered
through the Towns Fund

Our Board

The board provides strategic leadership and is overseeing the projects allocated funding through the Towns Fund. The Board has formally endorsed each of the nine projects allocated funding and will continue to provide strategic advice throughout the delivery cycle.

The board is formed of representatives from across Stevenage and the surrounding area and includes key stakeholders from public sector organisations, private businesses, and not-for-profit organisation, to ensure a diverse range of views are represented.

The board is chaired by Adrian Hawkins OBE.

Adrian Hawkins OBE is the former Deputy Chair and Chair of the Hertfordshire LEP during the period of his work from 2014 to 2024 and Chair of the LEP’s Skills and Employment Board delivering the Hertfordshire Skills strategy. Adrian is the Founder of Weldability SIF, an innovative advanced manufacturing firm based in Letchworth Garden City. He is the Chairman and Co-founder of biz4Biz, an organisation established to support business owners and leaders, as well as a Patron of Business Clubs, working alongside local MPs. In 2024 following the integration of LEP’s with Local Authorities, Adrian was appointed Chair of the Hertfordshire Economic Board.

Adrian is a former School and College Governor and Chair of an Academy Trust. Adrian is also the Founder of the Weldability SIF Foundation, a registered charity which, working alongside FE Colleges and businesses like Make UK and EDF, has created 41 Welding Skills Training College Studios across the UK, delivering 22,000 qualifications since its inception.

Within his remit for the Herts LEP, he encouraged the creation of HOP the Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal and the range of Generation events across the County bringing potential Employers together with Students to assist with Career direction and provision.

In his work with biz4Biz they have developed the Careers guidance software to assist anyone in identifying a career they would love utilising the Ikigai concept.

Adrian has chaired the Stevenage Development Board since 2020 and has supported the development of the Towns Fund bid to government alongside a narrative for the Town where he was born. He has been prominent in the Town’s support and development of the plans for the “Station Gateway’ area, Life Sciences, Space and Advanced Manufacturing activities and developments in Stevenage.

The work of the Development Board forms part of the wider £1bn regeneration of Stevenage Town Centre.