New UK Treasury Fund Offers Boost To South-West Projects

PROJECTS such as the Stranraer Waterfront redevelopment could be considered for a boost from a new UK Government initiative.


Alister Jack SOS

The Treasury has announced that a £4.8 billion scheme, called the Levelling Up Fund, will offer support UK-wide, including south-west Scotland.


Money will be targeted at projects such as town centre regeneration, local transport, culture and heritage -- particularly in areas facing the most significant challenges.


Ministers are using the financial assistance power in the UK Internal Market Act to ensure an even-handed approach across the regions and nations.


It will complement other funding streams such as, locally, the £450 million Borderlands Growth Deal, supported by the UK Government, devolved Scottish Government and project partners.


This is on top of the massive UK Government economic support package, so far reaching £280 billion, which has protected jobs through the furlough scheme, self-employed support and generous business loans.


Dumfries and Galloway constituency MP Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, has welcomed the Levelling Up Fund announcement and has urged the local authority to take full advantage of the additional funding opportunities.


He said: "I believe the exciting plans being progressed for the Stranraer Waterfront regeneration would be just the sort of scheme which could be considered and I would encourage Dumfries and Galloway Council to make a bid.


"There may be other projects in the region that would also be worthy of consideration as we set out to 'Build Back Better' as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.


"In my Scottish Secretary role, I look forward to working on the delivery of the Levelling Up Fund with councils nationally, including Dumfries and Galloway. 


"I firmly believe that local authorities are best placed to know the regeneration priorities in the communities they serve."