To consider the report of the Director of City Development providing an update on the Levelling Up Fund (LUF), the Council’s bids to Government under Round 1 in 2021 and the anticipated approach towards Round 2 in 2022, in advance of formal decision making for any future bid submissions.
Further to Minute No. 4, 8th June 2021, the Director of City Development submitted a report providing an update on the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) including the current position regarding the Council’s bids to Government under Round 1 in 2021 and the anticipated approach towards Round 2 in 2022, which was in advance of the formal decision making for any future bid submissions.
By way of introduction, the Executive Member provided an overview of the current position regarding both Round 1 and Round 2 bids, extended her thanks to officers for the work which had been undertaken to date in relation to the formation of bids and also thanked MPs for their continued engagement in the process. In addition, it was noted that the intention was to bring a further report to the 22nd June 2022 Executive Board meeting regarding the proposals for the Round 2 LUF bids ahead of the Government’s submission deadline of 6th July 2022.
Members discussed the progress which was being made in relation to Round 2 bids, with it being suggested that in addition to the planned consideration at the June Executive Board meeting, further Executive Member input be facilitated either via an additional Board meeting, or more informally. In response, it was undertaken that if it was felt that further Executive Member input was required to help maximise the opportunities presented by the fund, either via an additional Board meeting or by other means, then this would be scheduled at the appropriate time.
Responding to Members’ enquiries regarding the restoration of Methley Train Station and whether this could potentially be considered as a Round 2 LUF bid, it was noted that this project was currently the subject of a live funding bid and that there was a lot of local momentum behind looking towards reopening the station.
The Board discussed several of the bids being proposed. Further to this, a Member highlighted that the work being undertaken to get all Leeds bids to the application stage was an investment, and whilst it was hoped that all submitted bids would be successful through the LUF programme, should any be unsuccessful, then that work undertaken could potentially be used to pursue alternative funding streams, where appropriate.
(a) That the outcomes of the Round 1 LUF bids, be noted; and that the investment which has been secured for the Pudsey constituency ‘Connecting West Leeds’ project, be welcomed;
(b) That further development of, and public consultation for the ‘Leeds West: Green, Healthy and Connected’ project, to enable its consideration as a Round 2 bid for that constituency, be supported;
(c) That further development and refinement of the ‘Leeds East: Fearnville Wellbeing Centre’ project and its potential to be submitted as a Round 2 bid for that constituency, be supported;
(d) That the need for further work in partnership with constituency MPs and Ward Members in order to define projects, undertake consultations and enable consideration of potential Round 2 bids in the Leeds Central, and Elmet & Rothwell constituencies, be noted;
(e) That the opportunity to develop an additional city bid, or bids alongside MPs’ prioritised constituency schemes, be noted; and that agreement be given for the Director of City Development, in consultation with the Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate to explore further potential schemes for submission to the LUF, which can be considered at the June 2022 Executive Board for potential submission as necessary;
(f) That a report be presented to the 22nd June 2022 Executive Board in order to agree which schemes are submitted as Round 2 LUF bids before the 6th July 2022 deadline; and that the comments made during the meeting be noted together with the undertaking that if it was felt that further Executive Member input was required to help maximise the opportunities presented by the fund, either via an additional Board meeting or by other means, then this would be scheduled at the appropriate time.