Six projects in Greater Manchester have been allocated a share of a £4.8bn fund following an announcement by Rishi Sunak today (October 27).
In the second Budget delivered by the Chancellor this year, the buzz-phrase was 'levelling-up'.
Minsters say they want to ensure funding is spread more evenly across the UK.
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There was considerable fanfare when the details of the government's £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund were announced in March, a pot to which local authorities could bid for so-called 'shovel ready' schemes.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would 'support investment in places where it can make the biggest difference to everyday life'.
Today, six projects across the region were handed a share of the first phase of that pot, which totals £1.7bn nationwide.
The funding here will go towards creating new facilities for the community, renovating dilapidated old sites, and delivering projects across the area.
Bury Market - £20m
Bury’s famous market is set to for a ‘generational boost’ after being allocated £20m of investment in Rishi Sunak’s budget.
The historic attraction has been awarded the maximum grant allowed under the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build a new flexi-hall and regenerate the surrounding area.
Bury Council said the money would see the market ‘thrive for many generations to come’.
The flexi hall will comprise a large, state-of-the-art, carbon neutral, multi-functional events space that can support market stalls, ‘pop-up’ trading, live performance, and community events.
Coun Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council, said: “This is just the news that we’ve been waiting for, and will be welcomed by our market traders, customers and visitors to Bury from far and wide.
“We were up against tough competition to win this money, and this is the culmination of two years of hard work by our market task force, which proposed in 2020 that we create a flexi-hall to help secure the long-term future of the market.
“Bury Market is rightly described as the jewel in Bury’s crown, which is why we did so much to support traders through the coronavirus pandemic.
“This investment, plus nearly £5m more from Bury Council will bring regeneration and prosperity both to the market and the wider town centre area."
Radcliffe town centre regeneration - £20m
Proposals to transform the heart of Radcliffe have received a huge financial boost.
Bury has won £20 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build the new Radcliffe Hub and create new facilities for local businesses and public services.
The projects are a key part of wider regeneration of the town centre, which will include affordable housing, a new high school and improved leisure, skills and employment opportunities.
The whole project is estimated to cost a total of £42m, with £20m from the Levelling Up Fund and the remainder from Bury Council and external sources.
The main hub building will be the council’s first carbon zero building and will feature a leisure centre with swimming pool, gym and fitness studios, a new library and skills centre, and a community space for meetings and events.
Bolton College of Medical Sciences - £20m
The news has been described as a ‘game-changer’ for Bolton and comes after a bid for the Levelling Up Fund was submitted by Bolton Council and partners, supported by local MPs, earlier this year.
The state-of-the-art facility hopes to transform how NHS and social care workforces are trained, alleviate staffing pressure, and result in an improved level of care.
The BCMS, based in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital, will train a new generation of health and social care professionals.
Ashton Town Hall - £20m
The restoration of the Grade II listed Ashton Town Hall will also be given a funding injection by the scheme.
Councillors had previously raised concerns the historic building was being left to rot.
Last year, the council spent £270,000 to stop its condition deteriorating any further.
The town hall, which opened in 1840, has been closed, along with the Museum of the Manchester Regiment, since 2015.
Bosses planned to reopen it as part of phase three of the Vision Tameside project, but the collapse of construction firm Carillion has delayed works.
Much of the ‘significant damage’ occurred when the physical link between the town hall and the Tameside Administrative Centre (TAC) was disconnected in order to demolish the centre and clear the site.
Salford Rise - a 'boulevard in the sky' - £13m
Salford is set to benefit from a cash boost to help fund the Salford Rise, a "new boulevard in the sky" over Frederick Road.
The bridge will connect the University of Salford campus to the wider "Innovation Zone", and promises views, seating areas, and plants.
It is expected to generate £200m of commercial development, more than 6,000 additional jobs and £7.5m in business rates.
The project was one of two levelling-up bids submitted by salford council.
City centre culture - £20m
Over in Manchester, the Culture in the City project has been given a welcome cash boost.
The dilapidated and listed Campfield Market refurbished to provide affordable tech workspaces as part of Allied London’s wider redevelopment of the Victorian buildings.
The move is part of a £19.8m bid put in by Manchester council under the umbrella 'Culture in the City', aimed at building on the city's existing cultural offer while creating space for small businesses to get up and running, while reusing heritage architecture.
That bid also featured plans to convert three railway arches along Whitworth Street to set up a 'creative talent' centre at the HOME arts hub, including affordable co-working space, free rehearsal space and creative training.
The council said successful funding would see work begin in autumn of this year, supported by Allied London.
Council leader Sir Richard Leese said, when the bid went in: "The Culture in the City bid will help further develop the tech presence in Manchester - a key growth industry that has the potential to have an enormous impact on employment opportunities for local people, while bringing key city centre sites back in to use. The importance of investing in project that have this type of economic potential cannot be underestimated as we recover from the pandemic."
Stockport to Ashton rail line, Marple Community Hub, Spinner's Mill
Other pots of cash were also raided for projects in Greater Manchester as part of the Budget.
The government has announced funding to develop proposals to reinstate a passenger rail line between Ashton-under-Lyne and Stockport, a long-standing campaign locally, including by Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne.
This would see up to £50,000 distributed to develop early stage proposals for an orbital rail link between Ashton in Tameside and Stockport.
Leigh Spinners Mill has been allocated £250,000 from the Community Ownership Fund, a pot set up to protect important community assets.
The Wharf Community Hub in Marple has also been granted £200,000 under the scheme.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also confirmed that the M60's infamous Simister Island junction is in line for improvements - and part of a £24b investment will fund the much-needed work.
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Two brownfield sites have also been given massive cash boosts to help with regeneration costs, with £1.49m going to the Lower Falinge Area in Rochdale, and almost £975,000 heading to Sale West estate in Trafford.
Public transport can also expect a boost, with £1.07b heading to the city region over the next five years to transform local transport, funding schemes like the new Metrolink tram-train vehicles.
The full list of levelling-up projects is below
Other investments across the North West include:
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s Budget delivers a stronger economy for the whole of the UK with the North West receiving support to drive business growth, boost the local economy and help working families with the cost living.
“The Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester will receive almost £1.8 billion in investment to expand and enhance local transport networks, providing funding for projects such as next generation Metrolink tram-train vehicles, and battery power for rolling stock to expand the Merseyrail network.”
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