UK Government announces winners of £2 billion Upgrading Fund

More than 100 projects across the UK will receive a total of £2.1bn from the Leveling Up Fund, the government said Wednesday.

The winners of the second round of funding include the Eden Project North visitor attraction in Morecambe, the new artificial intelligence campus in Blackpool, the new rail link in Cornwall and the major regeneration of Gateshead, from 111 regions in four UK countries. Includes planning. The government said it would create jobs and grow the economy.

About a third of the funding, £672m, will be used for transport development, £821m will be allocated for community regeneration projects and £592m will be used for local heritage restoration. increase.

About £1.6 billion to 80 local councils in England, £158 million to 10 Scottish councils, £208 million to 11 Welsh councils and £71 million to 10 Northern Ireland councils will be sent to

The government, which had previously pledged to match the £1.7bn funding for 105 projects awarded in the first round of the Leveling Up Fund, said the funding would be released “after receiving a number of transformative bids”. said it had decided to increase

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “By reaching out to more parts of the country than ever before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in where people live and where they call home.”

Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt called the investment a “great down payment for local jobs, growth and revitalization” that is part of “the government’s mission to level up opportunities across the country.”

But unsuccessful Conservative MPs were disappointed, and Labor called the bidding process a “‘hunger games’ style contest”.

Stroud’s Conservative MP Siobhan Bailey said the Stroud District Council “worked really hard” on its bid and said people on the council would meet “to improve our application”. I wanted to be able to do that.

Robbie Moore, Keeley’s Conservative MP, said it was “incredibly disappointing” that Keely lost the bid.

“Following discussions with the department, we understand that the Bradford City Council funding application was not sufficiently detailed to meet the criteria for a successful bid.”

Epoch Times photo

The prime minister’s wealthy North Yorkshire seat of parliament, the military city of Catharick Garrison, has received £19m to revitalize its high street. Nearly he has provoked accusations that £362 million was spent on London and the South East and £354 million was spent on the North West, favoring conservative areas.

Shadow Communities Minister Alex Norris questioned the criteria for the award, while Shadow Leveling Up Secretary Lisa Nandi said the fund was “disorganized and plagued by delays and allegations of favoritism.” there is,” he said.

“It is very arrogant to expect us to be grateful that some of the money they have stripped from our community has been returned.

“It’s time to end this ‘Hunger Games’ style contest where communities compete against each other and Whitehall’s ministers choose winners and losers. ”

Level Up’s secretary, Michael Gove, said the allegations were “completely untrue.”

“I think more money is going to Labor-led municipalities than Conservative-led municipalities because they are allocated based on a set of objective criteria and achievability. ” he told Times Radio.

Asked about South East receiving a lot of cash, Gove said: “It’s just not true that leveling money is disproportionately concentrated in London and South East.”

He said London and the South East together make up a quarter of the country’s population, but “the biggest winners are the North West” per capita.

“In terms of the amount allocated per capita, the North West, the North East and Wales are doing the best,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The Prime Minister defended the revitalization of the constituency’s Catalick Garrison High Street, saying the funds would provide the amenities needed by the military living there.

“I really appreciate all the military personnel who have done a great job and I am happy that this investment supports them,” he said.

“If you look at the overall funding of the Equalization Fund that we have done, about two-thirds of that funding goes to the most disadvantaged areas of the country,” Sunak said. .

PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou

Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.