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Levelling-up Fund: Third Round

Volume 741: debated on Monday 20 November 2023

I am delighted to announce that £1 billion will be allocated to 55 projects as part of the third round of our flagship Levelling-Up Fund.

Listening to feedback from parliamentarians and local government, including in relation to the first two rounds of this fund, we decided not to run an additional competition. We received 529 bids in round two, of which 111 were awarded funding at the time, with a further 19 projects funded separately at spring budget. For round three, we have drawn on this impressive pool of existing bids which we were not able to fund earlier in the year but were assessed as high-quality and ready-to-deliver. We will work closely with local authorities to ensure that the projects allocated funding can make a difference to communities as quickly as possible.

We have targeted funding at the places most in need across Great Britain, as assessed through our Levelling Up Needs metrics, which take into account skills, pay, productivity and health. We have also taken care to ensure that every part of Great Britain benefits from this round of funding, from Bolton to Elgin, and Newcastle to Rhyl.

Since 2021, the Levelling-Up Fund has played an important role in driving prosperity and pride in place in communities across the country. Across the first two rounds of the Fund, £3.8 billion has been awarded to 216 projects which are well underway. The Levelling-Up Fund also continues to play a key role in helping to reduce geographical disparities across the United Kingdom. Over the lifetime of the Fund, we have exceeded our original commitment of awarding £800 million to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

To this end, the third round of the Fund will see £122 million awarded to six projects in Scotland, such as £14 million to improve Dumfries and Galloway transport and £15 million to regenerate Drumchapel Town Centre in Glasgow. In Wales, we have awarded a further £111 million to seven projects, including £20 million to regenerate Barry town centre and £27 million to Neath Port Talbot across two projects. In England, Yorkshire and Humber and the North West will receive the most funding per head, with exciting projects like the £48 million upgrade to the Penistone Rail Line in West Yorkshire, and the £20 million Town Centre Improvements and Civic Square Development project in Chorley, receiving funding in this round.

In Northern Ireland, given the current absence of a working Executive and Assembly, the Government are not proceeding with this round of the Levelling-Up Fund at this time. We will continue to work closely with projects and places in Northern Ireland that were awarded a total of £120 million in the first two rounds of the Fund.

A full methodology note has been published for the third round of the Fund and we have notified all relevant local authorities of their awards. I will place a copy of the methodology note in the House Library.