Agenda item

Levelling Up Wave 2

(A report by Mike Gildersleeves, Assistant Director – Planning & Strategic Infrastructure)





1.         That the purpose of the Levelling Up Fund and its requirements be noted;


2.         That the engagement with Members in relation to the Levelling Up bid - including briefings, Scrutiny (Environment and Performance) and Full Council be noted and note comments raised as outcomes from that engagement;


3.         That the round 2 Levelling Up Fund bid and its general direction of travel be supported and Officers authorised to finalise and submit the bid to Government by 6th July deadline;


4.         That the set aside of provision for 10% match funding (through in kind land contribution to the scheme) plus additional funding required to be allocated from the Capital Investment Reserve to a total combined value of £2m, be approved, subject to an offer of Levelling Up Funding being made from Government.


5.         That delegated authority be granted to the Deputy Chief Executive – Growth, in consultation with the Deputy Leader, to make any necessary amendments to the Council’s proposed bid to enable the best possible submission to be made.


Portfolio Holders and Officer


NW /  MS



The above decision has been granted exemption from call-in on the grounds of urgency.




Councillor Nigel Welton introduced a report by the Assistant Director – Planning and Strategic Infrastructure providing an overview of the direction of travel for the Council’s proposed Levelling Up Fund (LUF) round 2 submission which focused on the re-development of ‘PE21’.


The report stated that the Levelling Up Fund was part of the government’s wider Levelling Up agenda.  It was a capital fund designed to invest in infrastructure that improved everyday life across the UK.  The £4.8 billion fund would support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.  It was a competitive bid-process where authorities could seek to secure up to £20m from the fund.


The report contained the background to the Council’s round 1 submission, which had been unsuccessful, and the feedback received from Government which had been positive with minor suggestions being made in respect of narrowing down the focus of the bid to PE21 only; revisiting values and costs; revisiting engagement with the community and seeking support from more partners and the MP.


Taking into account the response from Government to the round 1 bid, the submission had been reviewed by external advisors and discussions held with the Scarborough Group to consider working up a private/public sector proposal for the entire PE21 area to be delivered through a Joint Venture arrangement. 


A re-working of the PE21 masterplan for the western end of the site had been commissioned, jointly with NHS colleagues and LCC (transport) to look at opportunities for a new health centre and how this could be brought forward as a deliverable proposal, working alongside neighbouring parcels.  The work was being led by Wilmott Dixon in order to provide information to feed into a LUF 2 bid as well as future funding opportunities / scheme development.


As work was progressing on the LUF 2 bid it was not possible to provide Members with a precise picture of what would be included in the bid and what the financial model and ‘ask’ would be, but it was likely to be in the region of £15m.  However, in all eventualities the ‘match funding’ (10%) requirement would not exceed the £2m previously indicated as being acceptable (within LUF 1 to come from land value and a top up if necessary from reserves) owing to the maximum £20m bid allowance that could be made.


The likely direction and key elements of the bid were set out in the report under the headings of:


  • Delivery of a significant enhancement of the public realm (spanning the are between the river and the Len Medlock Centre);
  • Crown House – as per round 1;
  • B&M redevelopment – evolution of round 1


Those interventions would use the LUF funding as a catalyst to unlock the remainder of the PE21 area, including adjacent sites.  Collectively this would then leverage the ability to bring forward other potential interventions in the future which could include:


  • New health facilities with linkages to third sector organisations including those hosted by the Boston Volunteer Centre Charity;
  • Housing, community / public sector and commercial uses;
  • Improvements to the bus station;
  • Improvements to the wider area including West Street.


It was noted that a number of key stakeholders had offered letters of support for the bid and support was also being sought from the MP (a bid gateway criterion).  This was in addition to wider community engagement that had been undertaken through a range of social media activities.


The bid had been the subject of Member Briefings and consideration by the Environment and Performance committee at its meeting held on 21st June 2022. A supplementary paper setting out the comments from Members had been circulated for information.


Council considered the proposals for consultation purposes at the meeting held on 27 June 2022 and unanimously affirmed support for the bid to be submitted.






Do nothing – This would involve the Council not making a bid, and therefore not being able to access the up to £20m available.


Amend proposals – There was potential for other alternative proposals to be considered, however, this had been discounted owing to the time pressures for the submissions as set out in the report.  The proposals had been developed in partnership with external advisors to enable the Council to put forward a robust bid, significant changes / deviations to the approach were not possible whilst allowing for the bid deadline to be met.  Alternatives could however be considered for future LUF rounds.













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