The Levelling Up funding will be welcomed by many communities throughout the UK and will see projects supported including a rail link in Cornwall, an Eden Project North visitor attraction in Morecambe and a major regeneration scheme in Gateshead.
The funding has seen 111 areas with successful bids with an aim to create jobs, drive economic growth, inspire pride in local areas and fairly spread opportunity. A further round of Levelling Up Funding has been confirmed by the government which will offer more opportunities for places across the UK to take part.
Part of the funding will see £672 million invested over 29 projects in order to create better transport links across the UK, whilst other projects will kick-start community regeneration and the restoration of local heritage sites.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere.
“That's why we are backing more than 100 projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities across the United Kingdom.
“By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people's lives and the places they call home.”
Rail-related projects which have been awarded in the Levelling Up Fund are as follows:
- Cardiff Crossrail has been awarded £50 million and will see improvements in journeys to and from the city whilst increasing economic performance for the wider area.
- £50 million has also been awarded to aid the creation of a new direct train service, connecting 4 of Cornwall's largest urban areas: Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn. This investment will level up access to jobs, skills, education, and facilities for one of the country's most economically disadvantaged areas.
- The building of Willenhall Garden City in Walsall will be advanced with the award of a £20 million grant, which in turn will unlock a £210 million regeneration plan, enabling the delivery of new homes, parks, and a railway station.
- Sutton Council have been awarded £14.1 million to unlock the full potential of the London Cancer Hub doubling the number of trains running Belmont in South London.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “We are firing the starting gun on more than a hundred transformational projects in every corner of the UK that will revitalise communities that have historically been overlooked but are bursting with potential.
“This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride. We are delivering on the people's priorities, levelling up across the UK to ensure that no matter where you are from, you can go as far as your talents will take you.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “This is a major down payment on local jobs, growth and regeneration, all part of our mission to level up opportunity across the country.
“To unlock more growth right across the country, we are making it easier for locally-elected leaders to make things happen without banging on a Whitehall door by extending devolution deals to all areas of England that want them by 2030.”
The successful bids announced on the 19th of January mark the 2nd round of funding after £1.7 billion was awarded to 105 projects during Round 1 of the Levelling Up Fund in 2021.