Viewpoint - 29/04/2021

The Levelling Up Fund - What you need to know

We have produced a handy guide to give you the main points coming from the Government's latest technical guide on the Levelling Up Fund (LUF).

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What is the Levelling Up Fund?

The Levelling Up Fund (LUF) was announced at the 2020 Spending Review to support communities in realising the long-term, sustainable and viable potential of their town community. The £4.8 billion LUF will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in local cultural and heritage assets. The Levelling Up Fund embodies the approach set out in the Green Book Review, focusing on the needs of individual places and detailing the strategic case for investment.

Where will the money go?

The Fund will prioritise investment in projects that require up to £20m of funding. However, there is also scope for investing in larger, high value transport projects, by exception. Bids above £20m and below £50m will be accepted for transport projects only, such as road schemes, and can be submitted by any bidding local authority. 

Capacity funding to help develop bids will be allocated to councils “most in need of levelling up”, as identified in an index published alongside the prospectus. The prospectus sets out the approach for the first round of the fund, which will prioritise bids that can demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the coming financial year (2021-22).

What does it mean for Local Authorities?

Local Authorities are recommended to consult with a range of local stakeholders across the full geography of a place in developing their proposed investments for the Fund. It is important to note that local authorities can only have one successful bid for each of their allocated number of bids over the lifecycle of the Fund.

How can you apply for the funding?

To apply for investment from the first round of the LUF, eligible local institutions must submit their bids to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by noon on Friday 18 June 2021. Further guidance and templates for bid submissions, including package bids, will be provided to local authorities shortly.

How can we help?

Our dedicated Town Centre and Economic Regeneration team has considerable experience and a strong track record of unlocking investment and funding to help deliver critical and complex mixed-use development, infrastructure and regeneration projects.

For example, we have recently helped a number of our local authority clients with Future High Street and Towns Fund bids totalling over £100m to help deliver a wide range of interventions. 

If you think you will need help to put together a bid, or are undecided and would just like to discuss the potential options with us, then please do get in touch.

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