Just 10% of £10bn Levelling Up funding spent by councils

Just over 10% of the Government’s promised Levelling Up funds has actually been spent and is making a difference on the ground.

Watchdog MPs on the Public Accounts Committee also found the Government was unable to provide any compelling examples of what Levelling Up funding has delivered so far.

In a report published today, the committee MPs warn that councils have been able to spend just a fraction of the Government’s promised funding.

The public accounts committee said barely any of the first funding tranche of 71 “shovel-ready” projects due to be completed this month were on track. Most had reprofiled their spend into 2024-25.

The report says that, of £10.47bn in total funding from central government, which must be spent between 2020-21 and 2025-26, so far only £3.7bn has been dished out to local authorities.

And of that sum local authorities have only managed to spend £1.24bn as of September 2023.

Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “The levels of delay that our report finds in one of Government’s flagship policy platforms is absolutely astonishing.

“The vast majority of Levelling Up projects that were successful in early rounds of funding are now being delivered late, with further delays likely baked in.

“DLUHC appears to have been blinded by optimism in funding projects that were clearly anything but ‘shovel-ready’, at the expense of projects that could have made a real difference.

“We are further concerned, and surprised given the generational ambition of this agenda, that there appears to be no plan to evaluate success in the long-term.

“Our Committee is here to scrutinise value for money in the delivery of Government policy. But in the case of Levelling Up, our report finds that the Government is struggling to even get the money out of the door to begin with.

“Government has not helped the situation by changing the rules for funding mid-process, wasting time and money and hindering transparency.

“We will now be seeking to keep a close eye on DLUHC’s progress in unclogging the funding system. Citizens deserve to begin to see the results of delivery on the ground.”



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