What ‘Levelling Up’ funding will emerge this year for us?


A few days ago, the Institution of Engineering and Technology published a piece on their website that is relating to the recent announcement from the Government of the ‘levelling up’ projects. Their statement indicated that there are 100 ‘levelling up’ projects involving a £2bn fund that are being proposed. As it happens so far there are indications that there is actually 111 projects and they are in a wide range of locations across the UK. So far, I have not spotted any elements from the website in the Sussex area but of course they could emerge and perhaps they are being proposed? If not, there is clearly a need for all of our local MPs and indeed our Sussex Councils to work together potentially with businesses and charities to see if Sussex can benefit from this opportunity as we clearly have many communities that could benefit from this provision. The information on the website included a brief statement from Michael Gove who is the levelling up secretary and who has stated “This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride” and “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.” As it happens this afternoon there is a session taking place in Parliament of the “Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee: Funding for Levelling Up” so it will be interesting to find out what impact that may have on our area. Also there is an event due to take place in almost a months’ time in Parliament on the 20th February so let us hope that any local events could be prepared for that session to be considered.

Clearly, we would be delighted to read about the comments from our local MPs that are outside of the Government that can raise the content of the ‘levelling up’ subject which could benefit our locations. The most recent comment came from Peter Bottomley who is the MP for Worthing West and he took place last week in a debate called “Arts Council England: Funding” and one of his comments was

I will leave it to the Minister to explain not what has gone wrong but how he will put things right. I suggest that, afterwards, he writes to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, saying that the Worthing Borough Council bid for the connected cultural mile from the railway station to the lido, going past the museum, should be approved.

Then just over 10 days ago Caroline Lucas the MP for Brighton Pavilion set out a debate about Fossil Fuels and she did mention

I welcome the concessions on onshore wind made in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, but the Minister will know that a number of barriers still remain, not least the lack of targets and the strategy for this cheap and popular form of energy.

All of the other MPs have raised the subject over the last year and some of them have commented relatively frequently and indeed some of their comments are very interesting. Back in October Caroline Ansell stated

In my beautiful constituency of Eastbourne, we are busy working to ensure that £20 million of Government levelling-up funding is energising and growing the visitor economy.

Then back in September Sally-Ann Hart who is MP for Hasting and Rye stated

The All Party Parliamentary group for the south east, which I also chair, published a report this year called “Financing the future—what does levelling up mean for South East England?” One of the report’s recommendations is that levelling up must address the issue of short and long-term local government finance

Then back in March when the Government was being organised very differently the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton stated the following.

Can I ask one of the Ministers to outline the benefits the levelling-up White Paper will bring to West Sussex, particularly to coastal communities and constituencies such as mine, where economic disadvantage and deprivation are happening—whether north or south, east or west?” The Minister who responded to him was Neil O’Brien who stated “My hon. Friend is completely correct. Some £19.4 million was allocated to projects in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton through round 1 of the levelling-up fund, in addition to the £21.1 million allocated to Crawley. I look forward to working with people in West Sussex to do more through round 2 of the levelling-up fund as well as the UK shared prosperity fund.

So let us hope that along with two MPs who have raised the subject so far this year, that all of the local MPs will focus on the opportunities in Sussex which could benefit from the levelling-up funds.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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1 Response to What ‘Levelling Up’ funding will emerge this year for us?

  1. Pingback: A #levellingup call for Worthing that took place last week | ianchisnall

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