Exmouth: What happened to the Levelling Up Fund bid? | Opinion
Originally published on Nub News, 15th October 2021.
A bid from Devon County Council, originally written and conceived by EDDC, to secure funding from the government's all-singing, all-dancing 'Levelling Up Fund' was submitted earlier this year - East Devon was told it lay in the third priority group with hundreds of councils ahead of us in the pecking order.
We still await news. No date has been given as to when the results of this bid will be announced. A reminder that, if this bid is not successful, Exmouth will not get the Dinan Way extension it had already secured (it's effectively having to bid again from a different pot of money - the old pot disappeared into thin air).
Despite extensive pressure from local councillors, our MP Simon Jupp will not only have failed to deliver Exmouth's 'millions'....we will effectively have lost multi-million pound funding.
I hope this isn't the outcome and desperately hope that Mr Jupp has done some sterling work behind the scenes to secure this important funding - hand on heart, I will be the first to congratulate him if he pulls it off, and I have faith that he'll have given his best in his endeavours.
A successful bid will be good news for him and some vindication for the continuing pressure myself and local residents have placed upon him. If unsuccessful....well, it doesn't bear thinking about. As for when we may hear, there is no official time frame.
Presumably, the Conservatives in Westminster will announce it suddenly, on a day when things look bleak for the country, a good day for a cheery, sparkly morale boosting story to perk up the great unwashed.
Unfortunately, the Magnolia Centre, where I'd love this money to be going, remains in private ownership and as things stand it's not DCC or EDDC's to renovate. So at some point, the town will need to let the owners know how we feel. More on that in a future column.
For now, stay safe and happy.
Simon Jupp’s response here, in all its question dodging glory…. Again, from Nub News.
Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, has said that we are currently awaiting the government's decision as to whether the recent Levelling Up Fund bid has been successful.
He said: "The multi-million-pound bid for the Dinan Way extension and improvements around Exmouth train station has been submitted to the government’s Levelling Up Fund by Devon County Council and backed by East Devon District Council.
"The Dinan Way extension has planning permission and the purpose of the bid was to secure the funding it needs to be constructed. We await the government’s decision over whether the bid has been successful."
His comments come after the bid was called into question in a Nub News column here.
What could the bid mean for Exmouth?
The Levelling Up Fund is a government scheme to help towns 'level up' or upgrade their existing infrastructure and transport.
Earlier this year Devon County Council's cabinet agreed to give approval for the council to work with relevant district councils to submit bids for the government funding.
If funds are secured, Exmouth could see Dinan Way connected with the A376 - helpful for drivers who currently have to use residential roads to reach Liverton Business Park - and other infrastructure improvements.
Levelling up priority groups…..https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966137/Levelling_Up_Fund_list_of_local_authorities_by_priority_category.xlsx
Phot Credit: Archant