Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove said:
“We are levelling up in every corner of the United Kingdom, backing locally-led projects that will make a real difference to communities and help to deliver our net zero commitments.
There is incredible talent spread right across our great country and this investment will unlock the opportunities to match.”
Almost £50 million of this funding tranche has been allocated to local authorities that are members of the Rural Services Network.
Of those successful bids, predominantly rural authorities have been awarded £3.77 per head compared to £2.14 per head for predominantly urban authorities.
The Rural Services Network has been making representations to Government about our concerns for the distribution of the Governments range of ‘Levelling Up’ Funds asking Government to ‘Keep It Simple’, ensuring that Levelling Up Funds were allocated fairly, transparently and based on need.
Whilst the allocation of Community Renewal Funding is welcome, there remains large inequalities in the way that rural Local Government is funded with the Local Government Finance Settlement in 2021-2022 resulting in urban areas receiving 61% more per head in Settlement Funding Assessment when compared with rural authorities. Rural residents will pay, on average 19 5 (£96) more per head in Council Tax than their urban counterparts due to receiving less government grant.
It is vital that the Government resolves the underlying unfair distribution of funds to rural areas, in addition to ensuring that rural areas can receive a fair share of funding pots on offer.
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