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Levelling-up Fund Round 2 Outcome

Volume 726: debated on Thursday 19 January 2023

One of the Prime Minister’s top priorities is growing the economy, to create better-paid jobs and spread opportunity right across the country. This provides the foundations upon which to build stronger communities and safer streets. Levelling up remains central to these missions.

Today, I am delighted to announce the next stage of our levelling-up programme. This Government are committed to delivering three key priorities across the UK: supporting pride in place by funding culture projects in local communities; delivering economic growth with transport projects; empowering local leaders to regenerate their town centres. We are therefore allocating £2.1 billion of funding from round two of the levelling-up fund to drive growth and enhance communities. The successful bids were allocated following a rigorous official process, which took account of the geographic spread of need across the UK, ensuring the levelling-up fund reaches as many areas as possible across rounds 1 and 2.

The funding announced today builds on the £1.7 billion awarded to 105 bids in the first round, driving growth and regeneration across the UK. We received a tremendous response to this second round of the fund, with over 500 bids received, and a total value of £8.8 billion, a significant increase on the just over 300 applications in round 1. All bids for round 2 were assessed by officials according to clear criteria, and Ministers approved the funding selection without adding or removing bids. Further details of the process applied by the Government are published in our explanatory note on the assessment and decision-making process.

The levelling-up fund will play a key role in helping to reduce geographical disparities across the United Kingdom. To this end, the second round of the fund will see £456 million awarded in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, building on the £342 million awarded in round 1. This Government are committed to protecting and promoting the combined strengths of the UK. I strongly believe that, working as one United Kingdom, we are better able to tackle the individual challenges every region and nation across the country face.

We will have a further round of the levelling-up fund, alongside other complementary interventions which together will help protect community assets and level up areas of the country. We will outline more information on this in due course.