(Report by the Deputy Chief Executive – Growth)
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:
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:
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.
Council was being consulted on the proposal to make a formal submission to the Levelling Up Fund, round 2, which had to be made by 6th July 2022. Cabinet would be considering the proposal and making a final decision at its meeting on 4 July 2022, as it was a function reserved for the Executive.
The bid had also 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.
Members welcomed the opportunity to submit a bid for LUF Wave 2 which if successful would provide the necessary resources to regenerate, redevelop and repurpose an area of the town which had been in decline for many years, for the benefit of the community and local businesses.
Comments were made that it was the duty of all Members to positively promote and support the bid, together with partner organisations who were already doing so. Not to submit a bid which had the potential to realise £60m of benefit across the Council partnership would be neglectful.
Council thanked the Deputy Chief Executive Growth and the Economic Development Team for all their hard work, efforts and enthusiasm in preparing the LUF Wave 2 submission.
It was moved by Councillor Nigel Welton, seconded by Councillor Paul Skinner and unanimously
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 that comments raised as outcomes from that engagement will be provided to Cabinet as part of the formal decision;
3. That the information provided in respect of the round 2 LUF bid and its proposals be noted, and provide any feedback / comments as deemed relevant;
4. That ‘in principle’ support be provided to the Round 2 bid, and its general direction of travel, in advance of detailed consideration by Cabinet;
5. 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.