Hastings and Rother to each receive £125,000 for ‘levelling up’ bid
Local authorities in Hastings and Rother will receive £125,000 each for possible infrastructure projects as part of the levelling up fund that was announced in this week’s budget.
The Levelling Up Fund, revealed by chancellor Rishi Sunak, will see a total of more than £1 billion given to 45 areas that do not qualify for city deal-style funding.
Mr Sunak said the fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities. This includes a range of high value local investment priorities, including local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.
The Fund is jointly managed by HM Treasury (HMT), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart welcomed the announcement from Mr Sunak: “I am thrilled that both Hastings and Rother are in category one of the Levelling Up Fund, meaning both local authorities will be receiving £125,000 each to plan for local infrastructure improvements.
“This is great news for our area and proves that the hard work we have put in to ensure our area is included in the Government’s Levelling Up agenda has worked.
“I look forward to working closely with the local authorities on the list of priority schemes they come forward with and to supporting one of these as part of the bids for the funding in the future. We should be pleased that we have been included in this fund as it has the potential to contribute to the turbo-charging our local economy and driving forward growth and investment in our area.”
Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman also welcomed the Spring Budget which he said delivered ‘robust support for jobs, businesses and families, and provides a pathway economic recovery following the unprecedented financial strains of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his budget, Mr Sunak confirmed that the furlough scheme will be extended until September, while the self-employed will be entitled to additional grants, with expanded eligibility criteria allowing people who became self-employed last year to claim. The temporary £20 weekly Universal Credit uplift has also been extended for a further six months, and a rise in the National Living Wage to £8.91 was also announced.
Mr Merriman said: “I welcome the measures announced by the Chancellor; this delivers much needed support and reassurance for families and local businesses across East Sussex as we begin to emerge from lockdown.
“The Government has rightly provided unprecedented assistance since the beginning of the pandemic and has a clear plan to reinvigorate and rebuild the economy, but the Chancellor is also correct to be honest with the British people about the immense and severe impact of the pandemic on our public finances.
“The pandemic has seen a Government fiscal injection of £407 billion and our public debt now stands at £2 trillion – equivalent to £30,000 for every man, woman and child. So, with regret, I also understand the Chancellor’s decision to freeze personal allowances for five years and increase corporation tax on the largest corporations to 25% from 2023. As more of us get our vaccination, and more restrictions are lifted, it’s essential that we shop, eat and visit locally to help our community’s economy to recover.”