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Nottinghamshire councils waiting for Levelling Up bid outcomes

Nottinghamshire councils should find out by the end of the month whether their bids for millions of pounds in Government Levelling Up’cash were successful.

All councils submitted bids to ministers as they look to drive forward a raft of different projects in the city and county.

It’s part of the levelling up initiative first put forward by Boris Johnson’s Government, which aimed to address imbalances between different parts of the UK.

In his autumn statement last month, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged to allocate the cash by the end of the year.

This is the second round of the fund, with successful and unsuccessful bids in the first round confirmed during the November 2021 spending review.

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Ministers have provided no specific date for the announcement, meaning councils could find out any day this month whether their plans will happen.

The Future High Streets funding, a separate Government scheme, was announced on Boxing Day 2020.

A Rushcliffe Borough Council spokesperson said:

“The Council have submitted a Levelling Up bid to improve cycling and walking routes in the Lady Bay area and connectivity from the city into West Bridgford.

“In combination with the additional Trent crossing this will encourage more people to engage with cycling either for commuting or pleasure. Encouraging active sustainable travel is a key priority on our collective journey to achieving net zero.”

 

Councillor Lee Waters (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North on Ashfield District Council, says the authority expects to find out soon.

If the council’s £11m bid is accepted, it would create a ‘future-proof’ workforce, improve shopfronts and expand Hucknall’s outdoor markets.

It would also celebrate Hucknall’s heritage with a new visitor centre at St Mary Magdalene Church, focusing on famous Hucknall figures like Lord Byron.

And the authority aims to improve access to the town centre to attract more visitors whilst boosting public transport.

Cllr Waters said: “With all the soundings coming from Government, it looks likely we’ll have a decision by the end of the month.”

Other bids include £40m for a new link road at Toton to unlock thousands of homes and jobs, submitted by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Cllr Keith Girling (Con), portfolio holder for economic development, said the project is the ‘plan B’ after Toton missed out on its long-planned HS2 hub.

“It’s going to bring in about £4.8bn worth of value to this area with plenty of jobs and housing,” he said in the summer.

And a Nottingham City Council bid could bring forward a new vision for the former Broadmarsh Shopping Centre site.

The authority submitted a similar bid last year but was not successful.

However, updated drawings and a renewed plan for the site left the authority hopeful it could receive Government cash.

Cllr David Mellen (Lab), the authority’s leader, said earlier this year: “[It would] uplift not just the Broadmarsh, but support jobs and growth for the wider city and region.”

The authority also submitted a £20m bid to create a new riverside promenade, improve the market place and restore old buildings in Bulwell.

And it wants a further £17m to improve the 40-acre Island Quarter site, off London Road.

Other plans across Nottinghamshire include a £20m public sector hub at Mansfield’s former Beales department store.

A similar ‘hub’ has been planned by Newark and Sherwood District Council in Ollerton.

And there are plans for a highly energy-efficient, low-carbon industrial park in Clipstone.

Broxtowe Borough Council’s plans focus on £20m for Eastwood and £16m for Kimberley.

The Eastwood funding would create a new health hub, a swimming pool, community facilities and cycling improvements.

The Kimberley plans include town centre enhancements, industrial units and, again, cycling improvements.

Bassetlaw District Council, which missed the deadline for the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, has also submitted a £20m bid.

This will focus on Worksop town centre, including redeveloping the Priority Shopping Centre into a site with bowling, soft play, trampolining and a cafe.

A replacement leisure centre and theatre are also planned in Arnold, alongside a new library and improved town centre access from Front Street.

The authority missed out on the first round of the Levelling Up Fund,

It led to Cllr Michael Payne (Lab), the council’s deputy leader, describing the news as “disgusting and absolutely shocking”.

In total, more than 65 per cent of the 229 first-round bids submitted by English councils were unsuccessful.

The Government awarded £1.7bn to councils in the first round, and the total value of rejected bids was £2.4bn.

More than 500 bids have been submitted nationwide for the remaining £3.1bn of the £4.8bn fund, with the second round expected to be over-subscribed.

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