Selection process starts for Peterborough’s bid for a slice of £4.8bn levelling up cashpot

Work has begun to select an ambitious project to be Peterborough’s bid for a share of the Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up fund.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:00 am
Groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of ARU Peterborough. The university could be one project to benefit from Levelling Up funding. EMN-200812-115739009

Five applications have been received by Peterborough City Council from various organisations hoping to secure cash support for their projects which seek to enhance city life.

Council officers are currently assessing the multi-million pound bids from various public bodies including educational providers and community organisations.

No details have been released about the applications although it is thought one is from ARU Peterborough for the creation of a second teaching building with a curriculum focused on sports science, art and design, creative, and digital and architecture.

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

The final decision on which bid is to be submitted to the Government will be made by a panel of civic leaders.

These willl include Peterborough MP Paul Bristow, North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, the city council leader and as yet unnamed community representatives.

The search for applications began shortly after the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his March budget that Peterborough was one of 45 cities to get priority to bid for a share of the Levelling Up fund.

Levelling up is a central aim of the Boris Johnson government and aims to reduce inequalities between different parts of the UK.

The Levelling Up Fund is worth £4.8 billion in England over four years and is an investment in local infrastructure that improves everyday life including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The guidelines for applications state that projects must able to deliver capital regeneration and/or culture bids that require up to £20 million of investment.

A council spokeswoman said: “Projects will be assessed against the criteria set out by Government such as a fit with local and national strategic objectives around growth and regeneration.

“In addition, the ability for the project to be delivered within certain timescales and to secure the support of MPs are important considerations for government.

She added: “The Panel will determine which bid Peterborough City Council will ultimately put forward to government based on its ability to deliver positive impact and change for the people of Peterborough.”

The deadline for bids to be submitted to the Government is June 18.