Parliament c Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

Secretary of state Simon Clarke MP answered questions regarding the Levelling Up Fund on Monday. Credit: Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

Levelling Up Fund awards pushed back to end of year

Winners were originally expected to be announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities this month.

Secretary of state Simon Clarke MP confirmed the delay during a series of questions at the House of Commons yesterday. Clarke said that the outcome of the second round of Levelling Up Fund bids would be revealed by the end of the year.

North West authorities have requested more than £800m from the second round of Levelling Up Fund awards. Notable schemes in the running for funding include £50m for Eden Project North in Morecambe, £20m for the expansion of Greatie Market in Liverpool, and £20m for a culture hub and food hall in Wythenshawe.

Members of Parliament also raised concerns over the impact rising inflation would have on both past and present Levelling Up fund bids.

Alex Norris MP, the shadow minister for levelling up of England, pushed the secretary to “commit that no bid, either submitted or approved, will have to be downgraded to accommodate the mess the government has made of this economy”.

Clarke stated that inflation was caused by the war in Ukraine, not the government. He did concede that there is a “mechanism within the Levelling Up Fund to allow bids to be resized for inflation.”

Clarke also told Parliament that while the department is set to award £1.24bn from the first round of funding, only £187m has been paid out so far.

Of those set to receive money from the first round of awards, 11 were from the North West. These bids included Bury’s push for a civic and enterprise hub in Radcliffe, Barrow-in-Furness’s project to improve Barrow Market, and Bolton Council’s bid for the Bolton College of Medical Sciences – a scheme where construction has just started.

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By Bob

preference was to be given to those projects that could achieve in-year spend. Local Authorities need to know sooner rather than later where they stand with this funding.

By Anonymous

It was U K government not Russia that imposed sanctions that caused rise energy prices and rise inflation.Tbey can find billions for military aid Ukraine but not for levelling up it seems.

By Anonymous

Before we know it we`ll be facing a general election, so why commit to redwall seats when you`re probably going to lose them.

By Anonymous

They aren’t committing to redwall seats that’s why the funding is being “pushed back”

By Anonymous

Everything is Putin’s fault, isn’t it? When you think about the fact they so frequently hide behind a war to deflect from their own failings, it makes you realise what a despicable little bunch they are and how unlikely it is that ‘levelling up’ will ever amount to anything more than the trite soundbite it always was. Anyone using it now, including the government department that bears its name, should be ridiculed.

By Unlevelled for balance

NPR is not going to be built. We all know that. Manchester might just get HS2,as it’s too late to cancel it but all the seats the Tories won in 2019 with a few possible exceptions will go back to Labour. Does anyone think that Jeremy Hunt gives a damn about Radcliffe?

By Elephant

What about all the consultants and advisors who have been working in good faith to support and promote these bids? Decisions on funding were supposed to be confirmed months ago, now further delays. Developers, investors and consultants cannot afford to bear these costs.

By Bruce Wayne

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