We are committed to ensuring that the community renewal fund reaches those most in need. To achieve that, we identified 100 priority places across Great Britain based on an index of economic resilience measuring productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density. Other places were also able to bid and the assessment process considered both the strategic fit and the deliverability of bids.
Could the Minister tell us, when the pilots have concluded, how the shared prosperity and community renewal funds will interact with levelling-up bids? In future, will there be an overlap? Will it be possible to bid for both? On the levelling-up process, will he meet me to discuss Ellesmere Port’s excellent and ambitious levelling-up fund bid?
I would be delighted to meet the hon. Gentleman. As he knows, the community renewal fund is intended to act as an innovative source of funding to try new ways of doing things as we move on from EU structural funds, and to enable us to start working on new ideas ahead of the levelling-up fund.