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Levelling-up Fund

Volume 720: debated on Wednesday 12 October 2022

4. What recent assessment the Government have made of the effect of the levelling-up fund in Scotland. (901583)

We have invested £172 million in Scotland in round 1 of the levelling-up fund, which is around 10% of the total UK funding. In March, we published a monitoring and evaluation strategy for the levelling-up fund. Further updates on the strategy will be published in due course, and results of round 2 will be announced later this year.

That is wonderful to hear. 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. [Hon. Members: “Scotland!”] My question is: how is the levelling-up fund doing the same in Scotland—the land of my forefathers—to ensure that all parts of the United Kingdom can capitalise on and consolidate the staycation market so much born out of the pandemic years?

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Levelling-up measures are all about delivering local priorities and pride in place, which go hand in hand towards creating a sustainable tourist economy. The £150 million community ownership fund is allowing us to put cultural and heritage assets back in the hands of local people across the whole United Kingdom.

What would the impact have been on levelling-up projects if the Scottish Government had followed the advice of the Scottish Conservatives to give these unfunded and catastrophic tax cuts to the wealthiest in our society? Will the Secretary of State now apologise to the Scottish Government for insisting that they follow this disastrous and reckless course of action?

The hon. Member is conflating two issues. The reality is that the levelling-up funds, of which there are £200 million in the current round, are being well received across Scotland. That is real devolution in practice. All local authorities are engaging with the UK Government—and guess what? They are enthusiastic when it comes to applying for money to help local projects.