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We welcome the latest Levelling-Up developments but the time to act is now.

In a recent survey by More in Common* and Power to Change, 23% of 2,052 respondents said their town centre was improving, while 32% said it was getting worse.

 

Many urban centres and high streets up and down the country are still in a state of limbo since pre-Covid times when traditional shopping patterns shifted and consumer behaviour altered forever. However, this should not signal the end of the high street or a permanent decline of these challenged locations, but the start of a new era of reinvention and repurposing.

 

The Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling-Up programme has been distributing funds throughout the country to give local authorities the power to transform and redevelop areas that need it most, to boost their economic activity and provide quality housing and services.

 

As a development partner of local authorities nationwide, Queensberry has delivered and seen the benefit of creating people-centric places that have a new, varied and needed, mix of uses. We are providing spaces for education, leisure, living, healthcare and more in areas that had traditionally been retail focused.

 

We welcome the latest and final round of successful projects that are to receive £1 billion, which will give these communities the much-needed funding to unlock transformation. We are proud to have already worked with some of the selected Authorities before, such as Sheffield and Kirklees, while others we aspire to work with in the future.

 

Each release of funding provides further opportunity for the public and private sector to work together to deliver essential jobs pre, during and post construction and create impetus for improved economic activity. Primarily, we are improving the physical infrastructure to more directly serve the needs of local people and provide for their wellbeing.

 

If we want to see the full benefits of our “forgotten” communities being levelled-up, the time to act is now. While some towns are actively deploying funds and making progress , others are yet to start. With a deadline of March 2025, if authorities don’t use it, they lose it, and the money will head straight back to Whitehall. We need to strike a balance between drawing down funding before it’s too late and rushing projects through that don’t provide benefit the community. Finding and working with the right development partner who can deliver the right project on-time and on-budget is essential for local authorities. We’ve tried and tested it.

 



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