Landmark levelling up funding will breathe new life into more than 100 communities, with up to £2.1 billion awarded today to transformational projects across the United Kingdom.
Part of the levelling up funding will be allocated toward tourism and hospitality projects including Eden Project North visitor attraction in Morecambe, Gateshead Quays and the Sage, which will include a new arena, exhibition centre, hotels, and other hospitality. The development will attract nearly 800,000 visitors a year and will create more than 1,150 new jobs.
A total of 111 areas have been awarded funding from the second of the government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund, providing greater investment in communities that will create new jobs, drive economic growth, help restore people’s pride in the places where they live, and spread opportunity more equally. Secretaries of State will be visiting winning projects across the UK to see how local leaders will deliver for local people.
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. By working as one United Kingdom, the country is better able to collectively tackle the individual challenges faced by every region and nation across the country.
The government has also confirmed there will be a further round of the Levelling Up Fund, providing more opportunity to level up places across the UK.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere.
That’s why we are backing more than 100 projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities across the United Kingdom.
By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives and the places they call home.
The UK government will also today launch an interactive map online so people can see which projects in their area are receiving Levelling Up Fund investment. This will be available at https://levellingup.campaign.gov.uk/.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:
We are firing the starting gun on more than a hundred transformational projects in every corner of the UK that will revitalise communities that have historically been overlooked but are bursting with potential.
This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride. We are delivering on the people’s priorities, levelling up across the UK to ensure that no matter where you are from, you can go as far as your talents will take you.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:
This is a major down payment on local jobs, growth and regeneration, all part of our mission to level up opportunity across the country.
To unlock more growth right across the country, we are making it easier for locally-elected leaders to make things happen without banging on a Whitehall door by extending devolution deals to all areas of England that want them by 2030.
The successful bids announced today follows the allocation of £1.7 billion to 105 projects from Round 1 of the Levelling Up Fund in 2021. The government confirmed last year that Round 2 funding would match Round 1 but increased this by more than £400 million after receiving a high number of transformative bids – taking the total allocated so far from the fund to £3.8 billion.
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 7 freeports, signing 6 devolution deals, connecting 740,000 homes and business with gigabit broadband, and helping 70 community groups take ownership of their cherished pubs, clubs and local landmarks at risk of closure.
The Towns Fund has been providing funding of up £25 million, to 101 towns in order to boost local economies outside of big cities and deliver vital infrastructure.
Revitalising towns and cities
Over £760 million is being provided to regenerate towns and cities and unlock thousands of new homes.
This includes £20 million to regenerate Accrington town centre, which will see the renovation of the Grade II listed Accrington Market Hall into a bustling food hall and trading space and the refurbish of the vacant and dilapidated Burtons Chambers and Market Chambers into band-new office spaces.
There is £18 million for a transformation of Cleethorpes seafront, including the historic market square and regenerating Pier Gardens.
The construction of Willenhall Garden City in Walsall will be accelerated by a £20 million grant, which will unlock a £210 million regeneration plan, enabling the delivery of new homes, parks, and a railway station.
More £17 million will level up Leek Town Centre through a refurbishment plan that will upgrade the old market halls for new business use, upgrade the public library and museum, and create a swimming facility as part of wider town centre regeneration.
Restoring local heritage
£545 million will restore local landmarks and protect them for generations to come.
This includes nearly £18 million to transform the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, one of the most recognisable buildings in South Wales, which is currently deteriorating after years of piecemeal refurbishments.
There is £20 million to restore the Grade II listed Haigh Hall in Wigan, which will rejuvenate the area and make the site a popular destination for culture, community, events and hospitality.