Boston

Boston wins £1.4m grant to help integrate migrants and promote community cohesion

The government has handed over more than £1 million to Boston Borough Council to help with integration in the town.

A £1.39 million grant from central government’s Controlling Migration Fund has been awarded to the council.

The grant will be used to help promote community cohesion with local chairs and organisation as well as access to English lessons and improving advice services.

Funds from the grant will also go towards tackling rogue landlords and anti-social behaviour in the Boston area.

Matt Warman. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Reporter

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman, who has backed the funding, said: “From taking on rogue landlords and anti-social behaviour to helping Boston Stump unite our community, this major government boost recognises the unique challenges Boston has faced.

“I am very pleased that Boston Borough Council has won this ambitious funding bid, and I congratulate all of the team involved in it.

“While immigration has brought benefits to the area and our local economy, the population growth in such a short space of time has put significant pressure on public services – that’s why I lobbied ministers for additional funding to help to relieve pressure and brought Lord Bourne to see our specific situation.”

Boston Borough Council leader Michael Cooper added: “We’ve been awarded this money in recognition of the impact that migration has had locally.

“Our partnership will focus on doing things that our residents have told us are important to them.

“We will use the funding to bring people together in various ways including through sport, events and making the most of our physical assets like St Botolph’s Church.”

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid MP said: “New arrivals can be a great asset to Britain – boosting the local workforce and economy. But in some places population change in a short space of time has put pressure on local services.

“We’re clear there are things we can do to address these problems.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne, who visited Boston earlier this year to see the challenges faced by the town for himself, said: “It’s great to see so many projects tackling the problems of poor integration in their communities by, for example, allowing migrants to unlock the benefits of good English.

“This will create stronger relationships between neighbours and unlock better services for all.”

“This new funding will help councils rise to the challenge of reducing the impact of migration on local communities in a variety of ways – whether that’s tackling the small minority of landlords who damage neighbourhoods with overcrowded properties, providing English language classes to ensure effective integration rather than reliance on translation services, ortackling serious organised crime and exploitative employers.”