15 Mar Levelling up at heart of Budget
Budget measures announced by the Chancellor are set to put powers and money in the hands of communities most in need, to help achieve the Prime Minister’s objective to grow the economy and level up across the UK. These measures will deliver more jobs, better services and more opportunities for local people.
A ground breaking devolution package and funding for community projects in the Budget will help further our ambitions to spread opportunity more equally.
The measures build on our place-based approach, as set out in the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, to ensure targeted measures which best suit the unique economy, geography and expertise of each area.
The Government will be working closely with local leaders in key areas to help attract investment and unleash economic potential. These initiatives include:
Trailblazer devolution deals
- Two new trailblazer devolution deals will see money and powers handed directly to the Mayors of the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, including a direct funding settlement, devolution of post-19 skills funding and functions and greater control of the affordable homes programme
- A new framework will ensure that decision-makers in areas with devolution deals are accountable to their residents and deliver value for money
- These agreements are designed to pave the way for future deals in other Mayoral regions
- Over £400 million for 12 Investment Zones across the UK to drive business investment and levelling up, each backed with £80 million over five years including generous tax incentives. Investment Zones will be based around research institutions such as universities and will be focused on driving growth in one of the UK’s key sectors.
- Eight places in England have been shortlisted to develop proposals in collaboration with the UK Government including the East Midlands; Greater Manchester; Liverpool; the North East; South Yorkshire; the Tees Valley; the West Midlands; and West Yorkshire.
- We are also working closely with the devolved administrations to establish how Investment Zones in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be delivered.
Levelling Up Partnerships
- The rolling out of Levelling Up Partnerships to provide bespoke place-based regeneration in an initial twenty of England’s areas most in need of levelling up over 2023-24 and 2024-25.
- Areas will be invited to form partnerships include the City of Kingston upon Hull, Sandwell, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Blackburn with Darwen, Hastings, Torbay, Tendring, Stoke-on-Trent, Boston, Redcar and Cleveland, Wakefield, Oldham, Rother, Torridge, Walsall, Doncaster, South Tyneside, Rochdale, and Bassetlaw.
- This will build on the success of deep dives in Grimsby, which saw cross-government working to help avoid the effective closure of the town’s fish processing sector, and in Blackpool, which unlocked a £100 million regeneration plan.
- Partnership locations have been selected based on the analysis in the Levelling Up White Paper which considered places in England against four key metrics: the percentage of adults with Level 3+ qualifications; Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked; median gross weekly pay; and healthy life expectancy.
- The Government will consult with the Devolved Administrations and local government to explore potential options in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Through the Budget the government is also providing money for levelling up projects which will deliver benefits to communities, including through:
- Grants for 16 regeneration projects across England, worth a combined £211 million, in Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, East Suffolk, Kirklees, London Borough of Waltham Forest, North East Lincolnshire, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, Rotherham, Salford, Sandwell, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin, Tendring, Wigan and Wolverhampton. These are regeneration projects that can start to spend and deliver quickly, including funding to revitalise town centres and transform derelict buildings for use by communities. These projects, including regeneration of Tipton town centre and a new skills and education campus in Blackburn, will help encourage investment, deliver high quality jobs and level up opportunities. Since the conclusion of the Levelling Up Fund round two, the department has identified further funding to support shortlisted regeneration and town centre bids that were originally made into the Fund.
- £161 million directly to Mayoral Combined Authorities for 32 regeneration projects in city regions across England, including business premises and food science facilities in Tees Valley, and major transport upgrades in the West Midlands. This funding is designed to give Mayors the resources they need to level up their areas and strengthen devolution
- Levelling up projects in the North West worth around £58 million in total, including transport connectivity improvements in Rossendale. Following the second round of the Levelling Up Fund, in which the full £2.1 billion allocation was awarded, the department is using unallocated departmental budgets to fund three further bids which narrowly missed out.
- 30 projects across the UK which will receive a total of £7.73 million from the Community Ownership Fund, bringing valued neighbourhood assets back to the community, including Tollesby playing fields in Middlesbrough and Inveraray pier in Argyll & Bute.
The Spring Budget 2023 takes DLUHC’s overall Levelling Up funding – including our flagship funds and grants – to more than £11 billion. This does not include the billions of pounds of investment from across Government into schools, transport and other services.