Six major regeneration and transport projects across Scotland are set to receive almost £122mn from the third round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund – a multi-billion-pound initiative improving lives for local people.
The UK Government has announced a total of £1bn to support 55 projects across Great Britain from the Levelling Up Fund. Proposals for Moray, North and South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish borders have each been awarded a share of the flagship fund, which will see upgrades to their town centres, high streets and local transport.
Scotland will receive the second highest award given to any single project in this round – a significant £37.4mn to create new commercial buildings, better cycling and walking routes and more electric vehicle charge points across North and South Ayrshire.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “Levelling up means delivering local people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued. Today we are backing 55 projects across the UK with £1bn to create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth, and revitalise local areas.
“This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our long-term plan for towns.”
Other projects being funded:
In a joint bid across the South of Scotland, over £22.8mn will renovate historic buildings in Annan and Peebles and improve cycling and walking routes along the Clydesdale Way.
A fund of £13.7mn will also be invested to improve transport connectivity in Dumfries and Galloway, including new EV charging for cars, electric buses, improvements to walking and cycling routes, and new transport hubs in five towns in the region.
In Moray, over £18.2mn will transform the town centre of Elgin into an attractive urban hub where high-productivity businesses can thrive.
Glasgow City Council will receive almost £15mn to invest in Drumchapel town centre, improving connectivity into and around the town to improve retail opportunities and boost the local economy. And in South Lanarkshire, £14.6mn will regenerate the Shawfield National Business District to prepare the site for future development, as well as the nearby Polmadie Burn so the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District Campus can be relocated there, boosting employment and education for the community.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “It’s fantastic news that these six locally developed projects in north, central and southern Scotland have been given the go-ahead. Sharing £122 million UK Government funding, they will transform communities through improvements such as better, greener transport infrastructure and connectivity, regeneration of buildings and land and creation of education, business and employment opportunities.
“Our levelling up commitment to communities across Scotland so far stands at almost £2.7bn. We are focused on working with local partners to deliver the change that the country needs to put the UK on the right path for the future.”
These new investments build on the £343mn already awarded to Scotland in previous funding rounds, bringing Scotland’s total Levelling Up Fund to £465mn.
Projects already underway include the restoration of Edinburgh’s iconic Granton gasholder, a £16mn investment from the first round of the Levelling Up Fund. The historic structure, which is at the heart of wider plans to regenerate the whole waterfront area into a thriving coastal town, will become a useable centrepiece for the community.
Construction work to improve sustainability and tourism in Inverness is also kicking off along the River Ness, with the support of £20mn from the Levelling Up Fund. The three projects will create a new Castle Energy Centre in Castle Street, refurbish and preserve the Victorian grandstand in Northern Meeting Park and improve sporting and events infrastructure at Bught Park’s grandstand.
Growing the economy and making the long-term decisions to deliver the change the country needs is a priority for the Prime Minister.
Earlier this year the UK Government announced two Green Freeports in Scotland, in the Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth, and two Investment Zones in Glasgow and the North East.
The Chancellor has confirmed the Investment Zones programme in England will be extended from five to 10 years. Alongside this, the window to claim Freeport tax reliefs in England will be extended from five to ten years until September 2031.
The UK Government will work with the Scottish government with the intention of delivering the same extension to Investment Zones and Freeports in Scotland.