Regeneration projects are popping up all over the country at the moment as local councils bid for the Governments Levelling Up Fund. Key successful bids this week include: Leicester’s railway station revamp, Birmingham’s Moseley Road Baths and Balsall Heath Library restoration, and Portsmouth International Port’s crucial terminal extension.
On Thursday this week (28 October) Leicester City Council announced it has successfully bid for £17.6m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund towards a £22m scheme to remodel the station’s entrance and create a more attractive new gateway to the city centre.
The station will be restored to its Victorian glory by forming a new entrance onto Station Street, and restoring the booking hall to its original size to create more space for train passengers.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The railway station is a beautiful building, but badly in need of improvement to meet the modern needs of a city the size of Leicester. This exciting project will make a huge difference, helping to transform the area into a vibrant gateway that will make a major contribution to Leicester’s prosperity.”
Meanwhile in Birmingham, the City Council won three out of its four bids for the Levelling Up Fund – securing over £52m in new funding.
The projects include the restoration of Moseley Road Baths and Balsall Heath Library (£15.539m), A457 Dudley Road Improvements to help reduce congestion and encourage active travel (£19.941m), and the remediation of the former Birmingham Wheels Site (Bordesley Park) which will act as a catalyst for the area’s regeneration and help create up to 3,000 jobs in the area (£17.145m).
Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward said: “As part of our commitment to genuinely levelling up for the people and communities of Birmingham, we’re securing investment and funding to create jobs and opportunities.
“The funding for these projects will make a big difference to some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and we will work hard to ensure our communities reap the rewards.
“It is disappointing that the Government has chosen not to support the people of Erdington, but we will continue to push for funding and investment to ensure that all our communities can benefit from the levelling-up agenda.”
Portsmouth City Council was also awarded £20m of the government’s Levelling Up Fund for their development plans, collectively named ‘Transforming the Visitor Economy.’ This includes the creation of the UK’s longest urban park (£8.75m), the refurbishment of Hilsea Lido to enable community-centred style activities in a unique natural environment, and the all-important port development which received £11.25m. The council deemed this project essential to the management of the anticipated increase in passengers through the port, which looks to exceed over 200 cruise calls across the next three years.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “We have plans for a truly innovative way to transform the visitor economy by creating world class facilities and linking the north of city through creative, environmental design.”
“The success of the port will be transformational for the city, providing employment opportunities and complementing the offer as the UK’s leading marine and maritime region.”