Levelling Up Fund
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities' Levelling Up announced Round 2 of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund in April 2022. This fund aims to supporting investment in infrastructure and schemes that improve everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport options, and investing in cultural, heritage and leisure assets.
The outcome of round 2 of this competitive capital grant programme was announced on 17 January 2023.
We submitted two applications in line with guidance, and successfully secured funding for the Transforming Ellesmere Port Town Centre. Unfortunately, the transport infrastructure project was not successful. Details of both proposals can be found below.
The Government have announced that a third call for applications for Levelling Up funding (LUF) will be made, although no timetable has been set at this time. The Council will need to consider the criteria and any guidance issued in relation to a third LUF application process prior to making a decision on which (if any) applications may be submitted for round 3.
We sought Government support and endorsement of its approach for the Winnington Bridge Corridor and Ellesmere Port Town Centre via Levelling Up Fund application in round 2.
The projects were chosen as they were most closely aligned with the criteria of the Government's funding and therefore stand the highest chance of success.
In addition, they address long-standing challenges in the areas and will deliver transformational improvement, benefitting residents, stimulating business growth and jobs for future generations.
The Levelling Up fund has several eligibility criteria, including; that work must be able to start in 2022/23, that it represents value for money, has at least 10 per cent funding from other sources and will not duplicate something that the private sector will deliver on its own.
While there are other emerging projects across the Borough to help support people and deliver change, there were no others which fully met the Levelling Up Fund criteria and were at a suitably advanced stage. Our Cabinet decided on 8 June 2022, that it would seek support for its two strongest applications.