Wednesday, April 21, 2021

News: MP sets out his stall on Levelling Up Fund


Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford is campaigning to encourage Rotherham Council to submit a strong bid for the government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund and, if successful, to use these funds to rejuvenate local high streets.

The competitive fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

Rotherham is in the highest priority list and will receive some initial money to work on bids. The council can submit two bids - one bid for every MP whose constituency lies wholly within their boundary (Rotherham & Rother Valley). For Wentworth & Dearne, either Rotherham or Barnsley Council should take responsibility as the lead bidder.

MP's are being asked to back one bid that they see as a priority and Alexander Stafford has accused Rotherham Council of previously neglecting areas in Rother Valley, notably with the Towns Fund application process, in favour of focussing on Rotherham central.

Stafford says that Rother Valley's bid should focus on high streets and shopping areas which "are in a state of unacceptable decline."

Dinnington High Street (pictured) is seen as an ideal candidate for the fund where up to £20m could be used to upgrade eyesore buildings and dated infrastructure, invest in secure community infrastructure and crime prevention, bringing public services and safe community space into the town centre.

Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley, said: "It is crucial that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council submits a strong bid to secure the £20m available in grant funding for local projects here in Rother Valley as part of the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

"I believe that our bid should focus on improving our high streets and shopping areas across Rother Valley, making them fit for the future by making them an attractive place to visit and shop."

Conservative Party Chairman and Cabinet Member, Amanda Milling MP, visited Dinnington recently to back the local MP's campaign and hear from Dinnington Community Land Trust who have ambitious but deliverable plans to transform Dinnington High Street.

Milling said: "It was a pleasure to meet with local leaders in Dinnington to discuss plans for local rejuvenation projects as part of the government’s levelling up promise.

"Alexander Stafford MP is running a fantastic campaign to submit a bid for the £20m funding available from the levelling up fund.

"Alexander is leading the charge for levelling up across Rother Valley, from better bus services in Maltby to the rejuvenation of High Street’s across Rother Valley, and I wish him every success in his campaigns."

Images: Google Maps


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