17/06/2022 - Permalink

Funding bids for Levelling Up Fund round 2 backed by Cabinet 

Related topics: Community / Corporate / Economic growth / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

Four projects could take a step forward after Shropshire Council’s Cabinet backed plans to seek Government Levelling Up Fund (LUF) round 2 monies, at their meeting on Wednesday 8 June 2022.  

The council will now apply to the LUF round 2 for support on projects in Craven Arms, Oswestry and Shrewsbury, as well as a cross-county transport bid. 

For all four projects it will be the second time that the council has sought funding, after disappointingly missing out in the first round, and on its subsequent Bus Back Better bid as part of the Government’s Bus Service Improvement Plan funding.  

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said:-

“Although it was incredibly disappointing to lose out on money in the first round, I am delighted to have secured the backing from Cabinet to take these bids to the Government again. 

“These are major projects across the county, which will help our economic plans, boost infrastructure and benefit communities.  

“We want to stimulate growth in our towns and support businesses, and these projects will do just that. 

“It’s not all about the money though, which will of course make a huge difference to the people who live, work and visit the county, but bidding again is a further way to secure recognition from the Government for our county’s economic ambitions and put Shropshire on the map.” 

In Craven Arms, a bid will be made to support a major infrastructure project to include a new roundabout on the A49, a road bridge over the railway line, and spine roads and utility provision on key employment sites. 

This supports the planned growth of Craven Arms through accelerating the delivery of infrastructure to unlock the allocated Local Plan housing and employment growth on the northern edge of the town. 

This will also enable sites within the town centre to be redeveloped for more appropriate uses, including housing. 

In Oswestry a package of projects is proposed, focusing in two key locations. Town centre investment will be sought to support the regeneration and recovery of the centre, through increased footfall supported by public realm improvements, and through measures to support businesses to stimulate economic growth. 

These proposals complement existing successful activities and schemes such as the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme. 

Funding for improvements to support the planned housing and employment developments around Mile End will also be sought, through ipark. 

The projects will stimulate growth, support businesses, increase town centre footfall to support the turnover of existing businesses and the visitor economy and improve walking and cycling infrastructure. 

These improvements are not standalone projects, but will build on current part of a wider strategy to improve the town supported by existing activities and public/private investment already secured. 

In Shrewsbury, a bid will be made to support the Big Town Plan package of projects, which will include making movement better on key routes in the town centre such as widened pavements and traffic calming. 

Other key projects include accelerating the Smithfield Riverside improvements, which will help unlock, get the site ready and accelerate the development of Smithfield Riverside through the delivery of the Strategic Development Framework. 

The transport bid will be centred around Shropshire Connect, the transformation of Shrewsbury Park & Ride (Shrewsbury Connect), and Rural Connect, which will see increased connectivity and travel options for the county’s rural residents. 

All four bids will be submitted ahead of the Government’s deadline in July. 

If Shropshire’s bid is successful, more detailed proposals will be developed with input from partners and  close engagement with residents, organisations, community groups and businesses.