Levelling up bids still on track despite government changes

MPs Duncan Baker, left, and Jerome Mayhew, taking a closer look at a universal payload module at the

MPs Duncan Baker, left, and Jerome Mayhew, are pleased to see work for Levelling up continuing despite the changes in the department and in government - Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant 2022

Our area's MPs are feeling positive following news that funding bids to undertake projects in two towns are still going ahead despite the uncertainty in Westminster.

The second round of applications for the Levelling Up fund opened on July 15, and North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) is focused on completing the process for both Fakenham and Cromer.

The two plans, which were first unveiled back in May, are hoping to bring new sporting facilities and a swimming pool to Fakenham and revamp Cromer's cliff top attractions including sunken gardens and North Lodge Park.

The Fakenham sign found on Norwich Street in the town.

Fakenham hopes to secure funding for new sporting facilities and a swimming pool - Credit: Aaron McMillan

The second round will allow councils to bid for a share of £4.8 billion of funding for projects.

The department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have a new secretary of state, after Boris Johnson relieved Michael Gove of his duties earlier this month.

He was replaced by Greg Clark who, when asked if there would be any delay, said: “I am determined to press full steam ahead with levelling up communities across the UK.

“The Levelling Up Fund can provide the investment needed to make a project that communities have been dreaming of for years a reality.

Local Government Secretary Greg Clark.

Greg Clark, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities - Credit: Archant

“So I’m delighted to open applications for the second round of the Levelling Up Fund and I’m looking forward to seeing proposals that will make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

An NNDC spokesperson added: “Our focus is now on completing that process for both the Cromer and Fakenham proposals.”

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Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, says the government remains intent on supporting levelling up.

Jerome Mayhew, Conservative MP for Broadland

Jerome Mayhew, Conservative MP for Broadland - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

“There has been a change of personnel, not policy, and the government remains committed to the levelling up agenda.

“I'm really glad that NNDC is supporting the work of Fakenham Town Council in bidding to approve the sporting facilities.

“It will be great to get a swimming pool back in the town and listen to the wishes of the people of Fakenham to get behind this bid.”

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker. - Credit: Public Domain

Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, wants to see the levelling up work continue.

“I’m very keen that the government carry on with our levelling up agenda to ensure every part of the country has equal opportunities.

“It is very important that North Norfolk is not left behind.  In the east, we punch above our weight but do not get the equal funding we deserve.

“Since I’ve been MP we have been selected in the top 100 for the Community Renewal Fund, which sadly we were unsuccessful in. 

A shelter on Cromer's clifftops. A plan has been unveiled to revamp such facilities in the town.

A shelter on Cromer's clifftops. A plan has been unveiled to revamp such facilities in the town. - Credit: Archant

“So I’m delighted that we can apply to the levelling up fund, I fully back any proposal to improve our coastal areas. The plan for Cromer fits the bid criteria and is one of our key tourist destinations - I hope we will be successful”

In the levelling-up prospectus published in March, North Norfolk was identified as a “priority one” area for support.