With the UK Government pushing its Levelling Up strategy, Lancashire County Council are set to establish a new levelling up fund of their own, in order to help kick-start some of the multi-million pound projects that they have in the pipeline.
This fund is designed to compliment the central government’s Levelling Up agenda and can be used to support district councils in making their bids to the nationwide fund, as well as supporting them with getting started with their major projects, with Preston’s pitch for £20 million for everything from replacing the Old Tram Bridge to investing in some of its parks.
Michael Green, the cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:
“If we want to attract investment and jobs into the county, sometimes there is a need to kickstart these developments because otherwise they simply wouldn’t happen – and we’ve shown that we’re able to do that as a county working with our partners at the districts or in the public sector”
The fund was approved by cabinet members and the papers that were presented to them put an emphasis on the fact that the fund would “principally support county council projects, as well as those delivered in partnership with both public and private sector organisations” which ties in with this year’s Lancashire 2050 vision. This also went side-by-side with potential discussions with the government about a possible devolution deal for the county.
Another notable feature of this fund is that the boundaries will remain flexible in order to be used effectively and can remain adaptable to whatever the government prioritises. This would allow councils to use it for anything from purchasing land for key developments, to developing business cases.