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Levelling up funding increased by £20M.

Torquay is the only town in the South West to benefit from levelling up funding.

Source: BBC article

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced 55 towns across England, Scotland and Wales would be given access to £20m each over 10 years.

The £1.1bn fund is meant to be spent on local people’s priorities in towns that have been “overlooked”.

The money is expected to be spent on tackling regenerating high streets and anti-social behaviour.

Funding will also look to improve transport and grow the local economy.

Mr Sunak said the levelling up funds would improve on the “half-empty high streets, run-down shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity”.

“Our long-term plan for towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up,” he said.

Multimillion-pound funding for a new direct rail link between some of Cornwall’s most populated areas and a major road link in Devon was announced as part of the scheme in January.

‘Not good enough’

Steve Darling, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, said the funding was welcome, but its annual gap in funding was about £96m a year, “so £20m over a decade is just a drop in the ocean”.

He said: “Over many years, Torbay Council have faced hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts – it’s the equivalent of having £96 stolen out of your wallet and expected to be grateful when you’re given £2 back.

“We need much more serious money over many years to actually tackle the challenges that we face rather than effectively the crumbs from the table… this is not good enough.”

‘Fantastic news for our town’

Kevin Foster, conservative member for Torbay parliament, said the announcement was “fantastic news for our town”.

He said: “This is fantastic news and I’m delighted to hear another £20m will be made available to support Torquay’s regeneration, taking the total government support and offer to £41.9m.

“Many people are keen to see projects like revitalisation of the pavilion getting under way, this latest funding will directly help deliver what people wanted to see here in our bay.”

Other press releases and links:

Message from PM Rishi Sunak : https://www.facebook.com/reel/922058649292537

What is levelling up and who is it helping? – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/56238260

Our response to the announcement of £20 million allocated to Torquay through the Long-Term Plan for Towns – https://www.torbay.gov.uk/news/tda3028/

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