Council leaders unite to support Levelling Up bids

The leaders of Lancashire's 15 councils have written to the government in support of the 11 Levelling Up bids submitted by the red rose county.

The joint letter explains how each bid benefits not just the council submitting it but also the surrounding areas, and together have the power to radically redefine all of Lancashire’s prospects for the future.

County councillor Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "We’re making the case to government that by taking a combined approach to these bids we can maximise their impact.

"Each of the bids has the power to transform local areas, but collectively they have the power to create a network of jobs, improvements and opportunities that will benefit everyone in Lancashire."

“All of Lancashire’s leaders believe we can, should and must work together to ensure Lancashire, and everyone in it, can reach their full potential."

Blackpool Council leader Coun Lynn Williams, said: "Lancashire is a big and closely connected county so the opportunity to make a difference here collectively across a large foot print is significant. The opportunities that can be gained from a bid for Blackpool will not only benefit the people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast, but will be felt across the whole of the county."

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader, Coun Phil Riley, said: "I’m proud to be fronting our compelling Levelling Up Fund bids in Blackburn with Darwen and contributing to an exciting round of proposals across Lancashire. Our bids have the potential to bring impressive change, unlocking significant opportunities that could be truly transformational - not only for our borough - but the whole of Lancashire.”

Speaking on behalf of Lancashire’s 12 district council leaders, Coun Alistair Bradley said: “It’s more important than ever that us as local authorities work together to get what’s best for our residents.

“If the country is true about levelling up then we think it’s really important that the government listens to what those in Lancashire are telling them.

“If all the schemes can be delivered it will help transform Lancashire’s fortunes and give a better return rather than having a piecemeal approach to government funding across the county.”

The government’s Levelling Up Fund is a £4.8bn fund aimed at infrastructure projects that have a visible impact on people and communities.

Lancashire’s 11 bids are focused on three areas themes of transport, regeneration and culture. The leaders have urged government to award them all, so they will make a visible and positive difference to our local areas in need of levelling up.

This is the second round of funding, after the first round saw £1.7bn awarded to 105 successful projects, including some in Lancashire.