Council to submit ‘Levelling Up Fund’ bid for proposed £44m package of investment

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet has approved the submission of three bids for funding to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund as part of an ambitious plan to secure £44m of investment in the county.

The £4bn Levelling Up Fund enables Local Authorities to submit one bid for every MP whose constituency lies wholly within their boundary, plus one further transport focused bid. Herefordshire can therefore submit two constituency bids plus one transport focused bid.

Following independent assessment to select the projects with the greatest chance of success, the three bids are:

  • A package of public realm improvements in Leominster and Ledbury town centres to provide multifunctional public spaces. This proposed investment would aim to increase footfall and grow the visitor and evening economy in the town centres, strengthening local access to culture, and supporting the vitality and vibrancy of Ledbury and Leominster town centres. Working with Leominster Town Council, the project will include redevelopment of the Grade 2 listed Priory to establish managed workspace, visitor accommodation and access to a wide range of public and community services.
  • Development of the Ross Enterprise Park and its transportation linkages to the rest of the town, delivering 7 hectares of serviced employment land, delivering around 1250 additional jobs in the local economy.
  • A package of transport and active travel measures in and around Hereford City, including a new Transport Hub and Active Travel Measures North and South of the River Wye. These would help to improve connections between residential and employment locations, making it easier and safer to choose sustainable means of transport, lowering carbon emissions and improving air quality. The transport measures will promote clean and inclusive growth, providing more residents with sustainable access to education, employment and leisure in the city. 

Cllr Ellie Chowns, Cabinet member for Environment and Economy, said: “The Levelling Up Fund is a great opportunity to secure Government funding to help progress local projects across the county. These are substantial bids which, if successful, will deliver significant positive impacts to our local economy, and help us to provide safe and sustainable alternative modes of transport, promoting wellbeing, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in the county.”

“The scale and ambition of the bids demonstrates our commitment to investing in the quality of life of our residents, and ensuring our local communities remain vibrant places to live, work, study and visit.”

The outcome of the bidding process is expected in autumn. Successful projects will have to commence in financial year 2022/23, and be completed by the end of March 2025.

More information can be found within the Cabinet papers.

Published: 1st July 2022