The Levelling Up duty to engage
Where and what exactly is it?
This week, around 200 Councils are putting finishing touches to the second round of bids for the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund. In Scotland, Moray Council is hoping for £18.9m for Elgin Town Centre. In the North-West, £10m may pay for improvements to Leigh Civic Centre. In the South-West, Mid-Devon, which failed to obtain funding for the Collumpton Relief Road, hope for better luck this time around. They hope to replace eyesores and redevelop a car park in Harwich; in Great Yarmouth, they want to invest in the North Quay area. Sadly, in Hastings they have accepted that compliant projects won’t be ready this time around and they will defer their bid to Round Three. If there is one.
All these and so many other aspirations will be sent to the Department of Levelling Up ready for the August 2 deadline – itself postponed due to problems with the complexities of the online bidding portal. It is a formidable process, lubricated by grants of up to £125,000 to support bidders in their preparatory activities.