Rishi Sunak grilled over UK 'levelling up' plans
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Rishi Sunak said he was allocating the first round of bids from the “Levelling Up Fund”, noting it would be £1.7 billion to “invest in the infrastructure of everyday life in over 100 local areas”. But Mr Thompson said: “You’ve offered regeneration money in terms of £20million but everybody I speak to in places like Burnley and here in Bury, it’s not about hands outs, it’s not about grants. It’s about creating growth and optimism and a long-term strategy. What we didn’t have in your Budget yesterday was a long-term plan for places like that.”
Mr Sunak retorted: “I dispute that. I would say it’s about two things from people I speak to when wandering around where I happen to be.
“It’s not just about being in the north, by the way, if you’re growing up in the southwest or living on the south coast, people want to feel opportunity is there for them wherever it happens.
“I put it down to two things. One is having pride in the place you call home and a lot of what we announced yesterday, the levelling up fund, bids like Burnley, it’s about improving the everyday infrastructure of our communities.
“The other half is exactly as you said, making sure we’re driving growth in every part of the country and we do that by investing in things.”
Mr Sunak said the Government is backing projects in Aberdeen, Bury, Burnley, Lewes, Clwyd South and Stoke-on-Trent – along with Labour areas of Ashton under Lyne, Doncaster, South Leicester, Sunderland and West Leeds.
He said yesterday: “With £170 million in Scotland, £120 million in Wales, and £50 million in Northern Ireland – more than their Barnett shares. This will benefit the whole United Kingdom.”
More to follow…
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