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'Level up' fund boost for north-east communities welcomed


By Alan Beresford

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COMMUNITIES across the north-east will now be able to benefit from a multi-billion 'level up' fund.

Douglas Ross MP (left) and Councillor Tim Eagle, pictured here pre-social distancing, have welcomed the extension of the Levelling Up Fund. Picture:Moray Conservatives
Douglas Ross MP (left) and Councillor Tim Eagle, pictured here pre-social distancing, have welcomed the extension of the Levelling Up Fund. Picture:Moray Conservatives

The Levelling Up Fund has now been expanded to include Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay announcing an extra £800 million of extra investment.

Cash for the fund can be used to support a variety of projects, such as for town centre and high street regeneration, local transport, cultural and business projects.

The original £4 billion fund was announced at the last UK Spending Review and was designed to invest in local infrastructure in the regions of England. It was targeted specifically at areas that had received less government investment in recent years.

It will now be made available to “all corners” of the UK.

One of those welcoming the move was the Scottish Conservative MP for Moray Douglas Ross.

He said: “This is great news and could have a significant impact on communities like those right here in Moray.

“Every part of the country has benefited from the UK government’s economic support during the Covid pandemic, from the furlough scheme and self-employment support to the vaccine roll-out.

“The extension of the Levelling Up Fund will help with the next stage, which will be to rebuild our economy.

“The UK government will deal directly with local councils, and I think that Moray would be well placed to receive support given the area has missed out over the years in terms of direct investment from the Scottish Government.

“There are a number of local projects that I feel would be well suited to this funding and it will be exciting to see them developed with the backing of the UK Government."

Councillor Tim Eagle (Buckie), the Tory group leader on Moray Council, added: “I am delighted to hear that the levelling up fund will be extended into Scotland.

“It is something I have long thought should be happening and I am sure the extra investment will be welcomed by those communities that benefit from it.

“I am sure that Moray Council can make a strong case for local investment here to help our communities to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

“I look forward to hearing more details about how this fund will work, how to apply and what type of projects will be eligible for support.”

More information on the fund can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fund-extended-to-help-level-up-every-corner-of-united-kingdom


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