Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, has called on the government to look again at their decision to pull back levelling up funds which would have improved the gateway into the town centre from Rochdale railway station.
Tony said, “These funds would have helped towards new sustainable homes and much needed redevelopment of the routes that lead into Rochdale’s town centre from the train station but this decision means that local communities and businesses will lose out.
“It was only last year that Prime Minister Sunak admitted on camera to taking money away from ‘deprived urban areas’ yet he’s managed to ensure that parts of his own constituency receive £19m of levelling up funds. Small wonder he’s being accused of ‘levelling up’ favouritism.
“Labour in government will do things differently by ending this type of contest that pits community against community by transferring power out of Westminster through the Take Back Control Act, so local leaders can harness the skills and assets in areas like Rochdale to drive growth.”
Rochdale Borough Council, supported by Tony, submitted a bid for £20million of funding to the Levelling Up fund last year for two of the Rochdale station gateway projects, specifically over 200 new homes on the Central Retail Park site and creation of a new station square.
The plans included a new public square in front of Rochdale train station and the creation of new homes and business spaces, alongside a 500 space park and ride facility on Miall Street. The project aimed to create an improved gateway into Rochdale town centre – removing traffic to give greater priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
Even with the latest funding announcement nearly all places are still worse off, of 151 local authority areas only eight have not experienced real-terms cuts since 2018 even when new levelling up funds are factored in.
Notes for editors:-
• The £2 billion-plus fund is shared between 111 communities across the UK as part of the second round of levelling-up funding. But Of the 80 successful bids in England, which includes Rishi Sunak’s constituency receiving £19m of funding, only half are in the 100 most deprived areas of the country.
• Analysis suggests that of 151 local authority areas, only eight have not experienced real-terms cuts since 2018 even when levelling up funds, including those just announced, are factored in. The other 143 have still had real-terms cuts to the key services that sustain communities.
•During the Tory leadership contest in the summer, Rishi Sunak Tories in Tunbridge Wells that as Chancellor he tried to reverse Treasury formulas “that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas” so areas like theirs could benefit.