New levelling up funding will provide a major boost to high streets and improve transport links with £1 billion 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, £150 million will be allocated to develop better transport links across the country with £825 million 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.
Today we are backing 55 projects across the UK with £1 billion 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 £128 million, the North East £59 million, Yorkshire and the Humber £169 million and the Midlands £171 million 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, £3.8 billion has been awarded to 216 projects which are underway.
For example, with the support of £20 million 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.
Today’s announcement follows the £1 billion 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 £1 billion Future High Streets Fund, which is creating thriving high streets.
The government has drawn on the impressive pool of bids submitted at round two which we were not able to fund earlier in the year but were assessed as high-quality and able to deliver quickly. We will work closely with local authorities to ensure that the projects allocated funding can make a difference to communities as quickly as possible.
The full list of projects is available to view online here
We have targeted funding at the places most in need across Great Britain, as assessed through our Levelling Up Needs metrics, which take into account a wide array of metrics including skills, pay, productivity and health. We have also taken care to ensure that every part of Great Britain benefits from this round of funding. A full methodology note has been published.
In Northern Ireland, given the current absence of a working Executive and Assembly, the Government is not proceeding with this round of the Levelling Up Fund at this time. We will continue to work closely with projects and places in Northern Ireland that were awarded a total of £120 million in the first two rounds of the Fund.
Levelling up commitments
Today’s allocations also come on top of significant action already taken by the government to level up communities across the country. This includes opening 12 Freeports, signing 5 devolution deals, connecting 740,000 homes and business with gigabit broadband, and helping 195 community groups take ownership of their cherished pubs, clubs and local landmarks at risk of closure.
Town Deals have been providing funding of up £25 million, to 101 towns in order to boost local economies outside of big cities and deliver vital infrastructure. Projects are now in delivery and the funding has already boosted towns centres and local high streets.
The government also announced last month that 55 towns will be given £20 million endowment-style funds each over 10 years to invest in local people’s priorities through the Long-term Plan for Towns.
Revitalising towns and cities
In this round of the Levelling Up Fund, over £825 million from round three is being provided to regenerate towns and cities in nearly 50 projects, helping boost high streets and grow local businesses.
Pembrokeshire will see over £10.5 million to improve public accessibility across Pembroke town, focusing on Westgate, Eastgate and overall improvements to the environment.
In South Tyneside, £20 million will be given to South Shields Riverside to be used for three projects. This includes the redevelopment of the Grade II listed Customs House cultural hub, a ground-breaking Centre for Excellence at the Holborn Renewable Energy Network and accommodation as part of the relocation of South Tyneside College.
Billingham Town Centre in Stockton-on-Tees will be receiving £20 million to create a vibrant, modern town centre that safeguards its retail businesses and levels up its high street. The town of Elgin in Scotland will receive £18 million to transform it into an urban hub and help the region attract and retain high productivity businesses.
Improving transport links
£150 million from the Levelling Up Fund has been allocated to eight projects across the United Kingdom to improve transport links. All of these projects are in Levelling Up Priority Places.
This includes £48 million for major upgrades to the Penistone line in Yorkshire to help reliability of rail travel between Sheffield and Huddersfield. The funding will also help provide enhanced station facilities such as electric vehicle charging points, car clubs, cycle hire and parcel delivery lockers.
Scotland will receive £13.8 million in levelling up funding to improve transport connectivity in Dumfries and Galloway, including new EV charging for cars, electric buses and charging infrastructure, cycle route improvements, and new transport hubs in five towns in the region.
The Isle of Wight will get £13.6 million to deliver the Island Green Link, providing cycle and walking infrastructure extending from Ryde in the East to Yarmouth in the west of the island. This will help residents and visitors to get across the island and will unlock potential for new housing and jobs.
Delivering for the North
19 projects across the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber will be receiving a total of £356 million in levelling up funding, almost a third of the allocations provided in total in this round.
Known for its history in textiles such as wool and cotton processing, Keighley in Yorkshire will be receiving £19.8 million to boost its strong manufacturing heritage. Levelling up funding will contribute towards a new Advanced Robotics and Engineering Institute to support the expansion of the advanced manufacturing and engineering industry.
£15.4 million will transform Blackpool town centre, improving traffic flow, access to public transport, and infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
In Newcastle Upon Tyne, £19.4 million of funding to create a restoration facility, aimed at sustaining the use of the river and access to quays to support economic activities, unlock hundreds of new jobs, meet the needs of the offshore energy sector and increased international trade.