The report will follow in an Additional Papers pack once the report has been published for consideration of the Executive Committee.
The Head of Planning, Leisure and Regeneration presented the Levelling Up Fund 2 Bid report and highlighted the following for Members’ consideration:
· The Levelling Up Fund was a national scheme and that Local Authorities were invited to undertake a competitive process to bid for up to £20 million funding under the second phase of the scheme. It was stated by Officers that the Council would need to demonstrate as part of its bid that match funding of 10 per cent was available if any bid was successful. Clarification was requested from Members regarding the potential amount of match funding that would be necessary. Officers explained that the amount of additional funding would be dependent on the amount of any funding awarded by the Government e.g., if the full allocation of £20m was awarded the match funding from alternative sources would need to be £2m. The Committee queried whether the allocation of £2m would be possible given the challenging budget of the Council. It was explained that it was a requirement of the Bid and that all potential revenue streams would be explored in identifying additional funding. Furthermore, the Interim Section 151 Officer reported that any additional funding would be a Capital Investment and would be spread over 40 years. The report set out that this funding was for the commercial and infrastructure works. The Housing works would require separate investment. Members were informed that the deadline for submission of the bid to the Government was 6th July 2022.
· The second round of Levelling Up funding focussed on the following three key themes:
· Regeneration and Town Centre
· Culture and Heritage
Of these three themes officers had identified that the Regeneration and Town Centre theme provided the greatest chance of successfully bidding for funding and that Matchborough and Winyates District Centres would be the focus of the proposal due to the significant amount of preparatory work that had already been undertaken. Much like the regeneration of Church Hill District Centre previously, it was hoped that the regeneration of Matchborough and Winyates District Centres would provide transformation and would result in a positive impact on the local centres and their communities.
Members commented that this was an exciting prospect for the Borough and thanked all of the Officers involved in the preparation of the bid for the second phase of Levelling Up funding.
On being put to the vote Members agreed that the following recommendations be endorsed.
1) the Executive Committee endorse this report and give delegated authority to the Executive Director for Resources (S151 Officer) and the Head of NWEDR (Senior Responsible Owner) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Development, Commercialism and Partnerships to submit a Levelling Up Fund bid, as detailed in the report.
2) the Executive Committee recommend to Council a match funding contribution of 10% of the total bid value up to £2 million.
3) should the submitted LUF Bid be successful, that Executive Committee recommend to Council the allocation of 10% of the total bid value in the Capital Programme.