Mercury prompts Prescott rescue

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has intervened to help save Leicester’s biggest regeneration scheme, as a result of coverage in the Leicester Mercury, writes Jon Slattery.

The Mercury has been fighting to keep the £50m New Deal project for the Braunstone area on track after the main supporting organisation, the Leicester Housing Association, threatened to withdraw its backing.

The newspaper urged the Deputy Prime Minister to throw his weight behind the scheme, which aims to revive the Braunstone estate and improve the quality of life for its residents.

This has prompted Prescott to write to Mercury editor Nick Carter, pledging immediate action.

His letter stated: “You have been reporting on concerns about the future of the New Deal for Communities programme in Braunstone.

“We recognise that the Braunstone NDC faces problems, and we are very much alive to those problems. My officials are working urgently to seek a satisfactory resolution of the current difficulties.”

Carter said the response from Prescott acknowledged the role the Mercury played in driving major community programmes.

He said: “This is a hugely significant project for Braunstone and for the future of the city in general. We are pleased to have drawn such a response from Mr Prescott, but will continue to keep pressure on the Government to help secure the future of the Braunstone scheme.”

Jon Slattery

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