Levelling Up Fund Round 2: What's In Store

Levelling Up Fund Round 2
Levelling Up Fund Round 2

4th April 2022

It’s been 5 months since Levelling Up Fund (LUF) Round saw £1.7 billion pounds be awarded to numerous local authorities, kick starting the Government’s pledge of £4.8 billion worth of investment to Level Up the UK. Following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement last week, LUF has returned for it’s highly anticipated Round 2.

The results of LUF Round 1 revealed a towards the North and the Midlands[1], with particular emphasis on town centre regeneration projects. As with Round 1, the three investment strands remain as Transport, Town Centre Regeneration, and Cultural.

At the core of Levelling Up Fund is a prioritisation of funding dependent on location. Each Local Authority has been assessed against an Index and rated from 1-3 (1 being a location in most need, and 3 being a location in least need), which plays a vital role in not only how the bid is submitted, but in who ultimately gets funding awarded to them. The main function of the Index is to measure the need for investment based on the Fund’s investment priorities, considering: Need for economic recovery and growth, Need for improved transport connectivity (England only), and Need for regeneration (England and Wales only). Bids in Category 3 need to be ‘exceptional’ to obtain funding. Vitally, in Round 2, there has been a reshuffle within these groups. This is primarily down to the impacts of Covid-19, which has subsequently affected the Index of Priority Places. As such 19 local authorities have moved up to Category 1, and 14 have moved to Category 2, with none moving down a category. These include Chorley Borough Council, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, East Devon District Council, and Redbridge London Borough Council, to name a few.

Further, in Round 2, the Government are looking to invest in two major cultural and heritage investment projects (for up to £50 million). These bids must be for flagship projects and be in line with the Fund’s focus on highly visible interventions that boost local pride in place.

LUF Round 2 bids will need to be submitted by 6th July, and money won must be spent by 31st March 2025. Continuum are currently working on LUF Round 2 bids for both South Lakeland District Council and Chorley Borough Council, and offer bespoke expertise in the collation of LUF bids. We also have extensive experience in securing funding from other avenues, including Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), British Land Fund (BLF), and Getting Building Fund (GBF).  If you would like to talk to us about LUF prospects or alternate funding opportunities, please contact Steve (steve.bird@continuum-dm.com) or Alice (alice.loizides@continuum-dm.com).

[1]  Levelling Up Fund Round 2: Updated Area Prioritisations (lichfields.uk)