£4.8bn levelling up fund opens

The second round of applications for the government’s Levelling Up Fund is now open.

This second round of funding is open to councils across the country as part of the flagship Levelling Up Fund, designed to improve the lives of people in all corners of the UK.

Councils can apply for funding for projects that will promote pride in the places where people live. Previous grants from the first round have seen investment in improving town centres and boosting local transport links as well as supporting cultural and historical assets.

The second round will look to build on the success of round one, which saw £1.7bn awarded to 105 successful projects across the UK.

Round one saw grants given to:

the restoration of the 900-year old Haverfordwest Castle in Pembrokeshire into a high-quality all-weather visitor attraction and to develop the potential of the river as a feature of the town centre.

Omagh in Northern Ireland, which received £4.1m to regenerate its vacant health centre and transform it into a digital hub, creating 250 jobs and attracting local businesses and entrepreneurs.

West Dunbartonshire for a series of projects including revamping the Artizan Shopping Centre and transforming the area’s oldest building into a library and museum.

Northolt Travel Scheme in Ealing, which received funding towards a high-impact active travel scheme that will improve accessibility to services and connect Northolt to the strategic transport network.

Bishop Auckland where £20m was invested to reopen the UK’s oldest suspension bridge and improve transport links for local people.

Greg Clark, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “I am determined to press full steam ahead with levelling up communities across the United Kingdom.

“The Levelling Up Fund can provide the investment needed to make a project that communities have been dreaming of for years a reality.

“So, I’m delighted to open applications for the second round of the Levelling Up Fund and I’m looking forward to seeing proposals that will make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

The opening of this second round of funding will see numerous contracts for tender across the UK. As Social Value commitments become more prevalent within the public sector supply chain, we are sure to see many opportunities for businesses local to the projects as well as smaller businesses. Improving employment opportunities within the local community is an important marker of social value within a project and the Levelling Up Fund will see its grants directly improving the local economy as well as landscape.

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