A zoo in Bosworth and a swimming pool in Halifax are among the beneficiaries of the government leveling fund.
The £ 4.8bn pot was launched last year and now the Treasury said which areas they were successful in their offers for the first tranche of money.
Local authorities, with the support of local parliamentarians, could apply for funds for redevelopment and transport projects.
Minister Michael Gove said the money would mean that people would see a visible difference in their area.
However, critics of this fund have questioned whether small amounts of money for local projects across the UK will transform the economy and create long-term jobs without a nationwide strategy.
Speaking at the Conservatives’ conference earlier this month, Gove, the leveling secretary, said “leveling” is also about long-term economic transformation.
Winning bids for an initial £ 1.4 billion include:
- £ 19.9 million for Bosworth’s Twycross Zoo
- £ 19.5 million for the center of Rotherham
- £ 20 million for Bolton College of Medical Science
- £ 12.2 million for the Halifax swimming pool
- £ 20 million for Aberdeen city center
- £ 9.3 million to upgrade Whitechapel Road in East London.
What is leveling up?
Analysis by political correspondent Ione Wells
The government has been pressured to define what their much vaunted policy – “leveling” – actually means.
We know it’s usually used to describe the fight against regional inequality, but at times it has been an all-encompassing phrase to promote everything from more money for tennis courts to fighting crime.
The new government secretary for leveling up Michael Gove previously said the first part involves people who see a visible difference in their areas made more attractive, which the government hopes these chests of money will start doing. .
But he also said that leveling up implies long-term economic transformation and job creation.
Critics of this fund have wondered whether small funds for several local projects in the UK – offered competitively by local councils and parliamentarians – will strategically transform the economy or create long-term jobs.
Although the government would argue that other policies, such as cutting the universal credit reduction rate and investing in transport links, are more targeted towards these things.
The fund has also been criticized for failing to give decentralized governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland a role in distributing the money, especially where bids involve funding things like infrastructure that might otherwise be an issue that governments they should make decisions.
We also don’t know who the “losers” were in this first round of bidding and which areas have lost money.
In his budget speech, the chancellor seemed to deliberately address the “barrel of pig” policy allegations – as the offers had to be backed by local lawmakers and bypassed decentralized governments.
The pig barrel policy is a term generally used to refer with disapproval to politicians who funnel money to their constituents, regardless of need.
However, Mr. Sunak specifically referred to the three successful bids in the Stoke-on-Trent Conservative seats, but also highlighted the successful bids in Ashton under Lyne, Doncaster, South Leicester, Sunderland and West Leeds – which include Angela Rayner’s seats. , Ed Miliband, Jonathan Ashworth, Rachel Reeves and Bridget Philipson – all members of the Labor shadow cabinet.
He said: “We are so committed to leveling up that we are also leveling the first opposition bench.”
Responding to the budget, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said the Chancellor “gives with one hand but takes much more with the other”.
He accused Mr. Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of running a “classic scam game”.
“The prime minister is the front man – he distracts people with his wild promises – all the while, his chancellor puts his hand in his pocket.
“It all seems like a game and fun until you leave and realize your bag has been lifted.”
Which areas received money?
Analysis by Peter Barnes and Joseph Cassidy, BBC Political Research Unit
The list of winning bids includes 76 in England, 11 in Northern Ireland, 10 in Wales and 8 in Scotland (105 in total) for a total value of £ 1.7 billion.
In some cases more than one parliamentary constituency is bound to benefit, and in some cases it is difficult to judge how the effects will be shared across constituencies.
But the BBC analysis suggests the following breakdown by party:
- Conservative only constituencies: £ 627m
- Electoral colleges for workers only: £ 507 million
- SNP constituencies only: £ 135 million
- Other parties / local authorities with more than one party: £ 424m
On Twitter, Sunak challenged Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, to celebrate the news that, as part of the fund, £ 17.6 million would go to improve Leicester train station.
“Let me know if you want me to retweet you,” he said.
Ashworth responded by tweeting: “We are still waiting for you to adequately compensate our Leicester businesses for imposing a local lockdown on us last year or reversing the growing number of children in poverty across Leicester thanks to your cuts.
“Let me know when it gets fixed so I can retweet,” he replied.
- Autumn declaration by the Chancellor
- Rishi Sunak
Grant to help protect the future of the historic swimming pool
- 5 days ago
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