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Less than 20% of levelling up projects completed in England, figures show

Less than 20% of levelling up projects completed in England, figures show

Less than 20% of levelling up projects completed in England, figures show
Mar 03, 2024 1 min, 1 sec

Less than a fifth of the projects approved by Michael Gove to improve towns across England have been completed, the government has admitted, in the latest sign of the problems facing his levelling up agenda.

Responses from Gove’s department to freedom of information requests show that fewer than 20% of the projects sanctioned under the £3.6bn towns fund were on track to be finished by the end of February.

The data is the latest example of how difficult the Conservatives have found it to meet the promises the party made at the last election to use post-Brexit freedoms to reduce regional inequality in England.

The Guardian reported last year that at least £500m had been lost from levelling up projects because of rising costs, with leisure buildings, high streets, museums and public spaces all being hit.

In November local officials warned there had been “significant cost price inflation” since the plans were submitted, forcing them to review the entire scheme to make sure the council did not overspend.

The report added: “There has been a significant delay in the confirmation of the business cases due to the need for further reassurance and assessment work on governance by [the levelling up department] and the commissioners.”

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