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£1bn boost for levelling up: government backs local projects

55 local projects awarded share of nearly £1bn from Round 3 of government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund.
Michael Gove on Awaab's Law

New levelling up funding will provide a major boost to high streets and improve transport links with £1bn awarded today to 55 transformational projects in communities across the UK.

These include upgrades for the fishing sector and sustainable jobs in Torbay, breathing new life into treasured heritage and culture buildings in three former mining communities in Doncaster and essential funding needed to transform Blackpool town centre’s transport network.

As part of this, £150mn will be allocated to develop better transport links across the country with £825mn to kick-start regeneration in town centres. This will create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth and revitalise communities.

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.

“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.”

Funding is spread across all corners of Great Britain, with the North West receiving £128mn, the North East £59mn, Yorkshire and the Humber £169mn and the Midlands £171mn in total.

The government has drawn on the impressive pool of bids which narrowly missed out on funding in round two but were assessed as high-quality and able to deliver quickly.

It is testament to how many excellent projects have been submitted, and championed by local MPs and councillors, that this round of funding was awarded within the pool of previously submitted bids.

This will drive forward the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy by levelling up and provide the foundations for building a better future in communities across the UK.

Since 2021, the Levelling Up Fund has helped drive prosperity and pride in place in communities across the UK. Across the first two rounds of the Levelling Up Fund, £3.8bn has been awarded to 216 projects which are underway.

For example, with the support of £20mn from the Levelling Up Fund round one, the Bolton College of Medical Science plans to welcome students from September 2024, providing a new facility to support young people in Bolton and attract talent from outside the town.

And in Portsmouth, a brand new, carbon neutral ferry terminal was opened earlier this year as part of money from round one of the fund, which will provide a significant economic boost by helping the International Port to manage an additional 250,000 passengers a year.

The announcement follows the £1bn Long-Term Plan for Towns unveiled last month, to empower communities across the UK to take back control of their future through local priorities; reviving high streets, tackling anti-social behaviour, improving transport and growing the local economy.

This commitment to towns follows other initiatives designed to support towns, including driving economic growth in 101 areas through the Towns Fund, and the £1bn Future High Streets Fund, which is creating thriving high streets.

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