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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.


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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