Rishi reveals £4bn Levelling Up Fund plans

The chancellor has announced plans for a £4bn Levelling Up Fund for England, as part of today’s (25 November) Spending Review.

Speaking in parliament earlier, Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures, which he said would deliver a ‘once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure’.

These include a new £4bn Levelling Up Fund for England, which will also attract up to £0.8bn for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

‘Any local area will be able to bid directly to fund local projects,’ said Mr Sunak. ‘The fund will be managed jointly between the Treasury, the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – taking a new, holistic, place-based approach to the needs of local areas.

‘Projects must have real impact. They must be delivered within this parliament. And they must command local support, including from their member of parliament.’

According to Treasury documents, the new fund will be open to all local areas in England and ‘prioritise bids to drive growth and regeneration in places in need, those facing particular challenges, and areas that have received less government investment in recent years’.

Further details on how the fund will work will be released in the New Year.

The Spending Review documents also contain some information about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace various EU regeneration funding streams next year.

It says the UKSPF will reach around £1.5bn per year and the government will provide additional UK-wide funding to support communities to ‘pilot programmes and new approaches’.

‘A portion of the UKSPF will target places most in need across the UK, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities,’ the report says.

‘A second portion of the UKSPF will be targeted differently: to people most in need through bespoke employment and skills programmes that are tailored to local need.’

It adds further details of the UPSPF will be published in the spring.

There is also additional support for four existing city and growth deals in Scotland for Tay Cities, Borderlands, Moray and the Scottish Islands.

‘The further promise of a £4bn Levelling Up Fund to support vital sub-regional infrastructure and the kind of local amenities and improvements that people most value, better high streets and cultural assets bodes well,’ said Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran.

‘Although the need for departmental and parliamentary consensus will suggest strong local consensus and detail alongside a requirement for strong, well-defined local delivery vehicles.’

Photo Credit – Pdimaria (Pixabay)


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