Prime Minister pledges over £1.1bn in levelling up funding

2nd October 2023 | Jack Oliver

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced plans to provide 55 “left-behind” towns with a total of £1.1bn in levelling up funding.

The Government’s ‘Long-term Plan for Towns’ will provide the locations with £20m endowment-style funds over 10 years for investment into “local people’s priorities”.

The funding is expected to be spent on local priorities, such as reviving high streets, tackling anti-social behaviour, improving transport, and growing the local economy.

Under the new approach, town boards will be set up to bring together community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP, with the aim of delivering the long-term plan and bringing it to local people for consultation.

The plan also looks to use a number of regeneration powers to unlock more private sector investment through the auctioning of empty high street shops, reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants, and supporting more town centre housing.

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.”

The government has also announced a new ‘Towns Taskforce’, part of the Department for Levelling Up and reporting directly to the Prime Minister and levelling up secretary Michael Gove. This will aim to help town boards develop their plans, and provide advice on how to take advantage of government policies, unlock investment, and work with communities.

The 55 towns receiving funding are:

  • Mansfield 
  • Boston 
  • Worksop 
  • Skegness 
  • Newark-on-Trent 
  • Chesterfield 
  • Clifton (Nottingham) 
  • Spalding 
  • Kirkby-in-Ashfield 
  • Clacton-on-Sea 
  • Great Yarmouth 
  • Eston 
  • Jarrow 
  • Washington 
  • Blyth (Northumberland) 
  • Hartlepool 
  • Spennymoor 
  • Darwen 
  • Chadderton 
  • Heywood 
  • Ashton-under-Lyne 
  • Accrington 
  • Leigh (Wigan) 
  • Farnworth 
  • Nelson (Pendle) 
  • Kirkby 
  • Burnley 
  • Hastings 
  • Bexhill-on-Sea 
  • Ryde 
  • Torquay 
  • Smethwick 
  • Darlaston 
  • Bilston (Wolverhampton) 
  • Dudley (Dudley) 
  • Grimsby 
  • Castleford 
  • Doncaster 
  • Rotherham 
  • Barnsley 
  • Scunthorpe 
  • Keighley 
  • Dewsbury 
  • Scarborough 
  • Merthyr Tydfil 
  • Cwmbrân 
  • Wrexham 
  • Barry (Vale of Glamorgan) 
  • Greenock 
  • Irvine 
  • Kilmarnock 
  • Coatbridge 
  • Clydebank 
  • Dumfries 
  • Elgin


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