William Eichler 04 March 2024

Less than 20% of levelling up projects completed

Less than 20% of levelling up projects completed image
Image: Tom Woollard / Shutterstock.com.

Fewer than a fifth of projects backed by the Government's £3.6bn Towns Fund were on track to be completed by the end of February, freedom of information (FOI) requests have revealed.

Submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) by local government expert Jack Shaw, the FOI requests revealed that out of 973 towns fund projects, only 154 are due to be completed by the end of February.

This figure rises to 385 – or 40% of the total – by the end of November.

Mr Straw told The Guardian: ‘Given this was a flagship policy priority at the last general election, the expectations on the Government to deliver new infrastructure in places that have historically been ignored were high.

‘Inflation and interest rates have prevented some projects from making progress, but the Government has also failed to respond to those changes and has instead asked places to reduce their ambition. Come the election, current evidence suggests the Government will have failed its pledge to “level up” communities.’

A DLUHC spokesperson said: ‘All of the money which was allocated from the towns fund is on track to be spent by March 2026 as planned, with more than 100 projects already completed. The rate at which projects are being completed is entirely consistent with the delivery timeframes we have set out.’

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