Hull heads regional Levelling Up winners
Nine local authorities will receive £20m in a 10-year endowment fund as the government looks to major on town centre regeneration, while Hull is one of two locations to pioneer new Levelling Up Partnerships.
As the Conservative Party conference kicked off, it was announced that Levelling Up Partnerships (LUPs), trailed in the Spring Budget, will see tailored regeneration plans rolled out across 20 English areas, selected based on analysis set out in the Levelling Up White Paper which considered places against metrics such as educational attainment, gross pay, and life expectancy.
Hull and Sandwell are the first two revealed. The Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities said that the programmes will be bespoke to the areas concerned, meaning that renewable energy will be to the fore in Hull.
DLUHC said it will work closely with Hull City Council to invest in improved training facilities, including investing in the city’s colleges, as Hull looks to stake its claim in the green energy sector.
There will also be a £1m flexible funding pot available to community centres to help improve their premises.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove said: “Levelling Up Partnerships are about delivering long term solutions for local areas, working closely with communities on tailored interventions to overcome their unique challenges and seize new opportunities.
“That’s why I’m thrilled to be announcing the first two Levelling Up Partnerships in Sandwell and Hull today backed by £40m of government funding.
“No matter where you live in the UK, everyone should be given the chance to stay local, but go far.”
Further to the LUP announcement, the government pushed forward a focus on towns, with people in 55 locations to be “given the tools to change their town’s long-term future”. They will:
- Receive a ten-year £20m endowment-style fund to be spent on local people’s priorities, like regenerating local high streets and town centres or securing public safety.
- Set up a Town Board to bring together community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP, to deliver a long-term plan for their town and put it to local people for consultation.
- Use a suite of regeneration powers to unlock more private sector investment by auctioning empty high street shops, reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants, and supporting more housing in town centres.
The Yorkshire & Humber locations included are Castleford, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley, Scunthorpe, Keighley, Dewsbury, Scarborough and Grimsby.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work. But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.
“The result is the half-empty high streets, run-down shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity – and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.
“That changes today. Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up.”