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Landmark Levelling Up Fund to spark transformational change across the UK

More than 100 projects awarded share of £2.1bn from Round 2 of government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund to create jobs and boost the economy

Landmark levelling up funding will breathe new life into more than 100 communities, with up to £2.1bn awarded today to transformational projects across the United Kingdom. These include Eden Project North visitor attraction in Morecambe, a new AI campus in Blackpool, a new rail link in Cornwall, and a major regeneration scheme in Gateshead that will create jobs and grow the economy.

Major government investment will benefit millions of people across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and spread opportunity to historically overlooked areas – with £672m to develop better transport links, £821m to kick-start community regeneration, and £594m to restore local heritage sites.

A total of 111 areas have been awarded funding from the second of the government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund, providing greater investment in communities that will create new jobs, drive economic growth, help restore people’s pride in the places where they live, and spread opportunity more equally. Secretaries of State will be visiting winning projects across the UK to see how local leaders will deliver for local people.

This will drive forward the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy by levelling up and provide the foundations for building a better future in communities across the UK. By working as one United Kingdom, the country is better able to collectively tackle the individual challenges faced by every region and nation across the country.

The government has also confirmed there will be a further round of the Levelling Up Fund, providing more opportunity to level up places across the UK.

Projects awarded Levelling Up Fund money on 18 January include:

  • Eden Project North will receive £50m to transform a derelict site on Morecambe’s seafront into a world class visitor attraction. It will also kick-start regeneration more widely in Morecambe, creating jobs, supporting tourism and encouraging investment in the seaside town.
  • Cardiff Crossrail has been allocated £50m from the fund to improve the journey to and from the city and raise the economic performance of the wider region.
  • Blackpool Council and Wyre Council will receive £40m to deliver a new Multiversity, a carbon-neutral, education campus in Blackpool’s Talbot Gateway Central Business District. This historic funding allows Blackpool and The Fylde College to replace their ageing out-of-town centre facilities with world-class state-of-the-art ones in the heart of the town centre. The Multiversity will promote higher-level skills, including automation and artificial intelligence, helping young people secure jobs of the future.
  • Nearly £27m has been guaranteed for a new roll-on, roll-off ferry for Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands. The service is a lifeline for the island, supporting its residents, visitors and supply chains, and without its replacement the community will become further isolated.
  • A total of £20m is going towards the regeneration of Gateshead Quays and the Sage, which will include a new arena, exhibition centre, hotels, and other hospitality. The development will attract nearly 800,000 visitors a year and will create more than 1,150 new jobs.
  • A £50m grant will help create a new direct train service, linking 4 of Cornwall’s largest urban areas: Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn. This will level up access to jobs, skills, education, and amenities in one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the UK.
  • There is £5.1m to build new female changing rooms in 20 rugby clubs across Northern Ireland.
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