Levelling Up funding for Barking and Dagenham

An East London council is to receive more than £10.8million in government funding so it can build hundreds of new homes and improve one of the country’s most deprived town centres.

Barking and Dagenham Council has been awarded £10,883,068 from the government’s £4.8billion Levelling Up Fund (LUF) and the money will be spent across two projects.

Some of the money will be used to build 316 new homes, which will “protect 241 jobs”. Cash will also go towards revamping the “public realm to rejuvenate business and pedestrian usage”.

According to the government’s Levelling Up website, the money will “help one of England’s most deprived town centres face the challenges of the future.”

It added: “LUF will support an integrated package of two projects which will (a) deliver a strategic development designed to transform residents ‘ life experience, (b) remodel public realm to rejuvenate business and pedestrian usage. The projects will deliver 316 new homes, safeguard 241 jobs, reduce crime, making the Heathway an exemplar for green and inclusive growth. ”

More information about both projects, which together are called ‘Up the Heathway’, will be released in due course.

The local authority is one of seven London councils that were successful in the latest round. Other successful London councils include Lewisham Council, which has been awarded over £19m of funding to transform Lewisham’s marketplace, while Sutton is set to receive more than £14m so it can improve transport at Belmont railway station.

Elsewhere, Lancaster City Council reportedly received the largest amount of funding in England and will spend £50m on transforming the seafront in Morecambe so it can attract thousands of new visitors each year.

Meanwhile, the Greater London Authority will spend its £43m of funding on making Leyton and Colindale Underground stations step-free.

A total of £1.7b was dished out to 105 projects across the country during the first round of the Levelling Up Fund in 2021. In November 2021, Tower Hamlets Council successfully secured £9.3m during, announcing the money would go towards improving Whitechapel Road.

In August 2022 and ahead of the second round, the department for levelling up, housing & communities received 535 bids, but only 111 areas received funds from the £2.1b pot.

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Ruby Gregory

Local Democracy Reporter