What is the Levelling Up Fund?
The Levelling Up Fund brings together the Department for Transport, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Treasury, removing silos between departments, allowing areas to focus on the highest priority local projects, focusing on the needs of individual places and the strategic case for investment.
The Fund is open to all areas but is especially focused on supporting investment in places where it can make the biggest difference in everyday life. It is designed to help local areas select genuine local priorities for investment by putting stakeholder support including the local MP at the heart of its mission.
The governments central mission embodied in this fund: to unite and level up the country. economic differences remain between different parts of the UK, including our cities, ex-industrial towns, and rural and coastal communities. These economic differences have real implications: they affect people’s lives through their pay, work opportunities, health, and life chances. Tackling these economic differences and driving prosperity as part of ‘levelling up’ left behind regions of the UK is a priority for this Government.
How does the Levelling Up Fund work?
The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities. This includes a range of high value capital local investment priorities, including local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.
Project proposals are being accepted from a range of local providers including:
- Local Authorities
- Voluntary and community organisations
- Education providers
The government have used a combination of metrics including the need for economic recovery and growth, need for improved transport connectivity and need for regeneration. These areas are identified in the index.
Using this index, places have been placed into category band 1, 2, or 3, with category 1 representing places with the highest levels of identified need.
Levelling Up Fund Investment Priorities
- Transport investments
- Regeneration and town centre investment
- Cultural investment
Applications should focus on supporting high priority projects that will make a visible impact in local areas.
Applications should also refer to the Government’s Net Zero and wider environmental ambitions when looking at infrastructure and capital projects; they should also consider their impact on the country’s natural assets and nature and resilience to potential hazards for example, flooding.
Funding and Targeting Approach
The Levelling Up Fund is a competitive fund, with funding distributed to places across the UK based on successful project selection. Applications are geographically based around constituencies and only one per constituency will be taken forward for submission to central Government.
The selection process will include:
- Characteristics of the place – banding category
- Deliverability on the ground or investment in 2021/22 financial year
- Strategic fit with local and Fund priorities
- Value for Money
The prospectus sets out the approach for the first round of the Fund and identifies a regeneration or culture bid as a single project, or a package bid of no more than 3 closely linked projects, up to a value of £20 million.
Projects will need to demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the coming financial year. These projects will then be evaluated and a shortlist produced to include one regeneration or cultural application and one transport project per MP to be submitted to central Government.
The UK government will select projects in line with the selection criteria set out in the Levelling Up Fund Prospectus.
In addition, County Councils and combined authorities are eligible to submit one transport application, and unitary authorities with transport powers can submit one additional application which must be for transport.
How to Apply
Please make sure you have read the Key Documents and then fill in the pre-screening form below.
We will send you an email with a link to the Expression of Interest form on receipt of your screening questionnaire.
The deadline for submitting EOI will be 10 May 2021 at 9am. Shortlisted bids will be advised to fill out a longer, government application form thereafter. For Round 1 bids this more detailed application form will be required by 14 June 2021.
Pre-Screening Application Form