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Gloucestershire Business News

No Levelling Up funding for Gloucestershire

The Government has just published a list of more than 100 projects which will get a share of just over £2bn of Levelling Up money. But there is nothing for Gloucestershire.

Gloucester had submitted an ambitious bid for £12m of funding for improvements to Greyfriars and Eastgate Indoor Market.

But, speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire today (January 19), Richard Graham MP for Gloucester, wasn't feeling too downhearted and admitted that the bid was always a long shot.

Richard Graham said: "We were very fortunate, because we got the maximum £20m award from Levelling Up 1 a while back - for the new University of Gloucestershire City Campus, The Forum and The Fleece.

"We were only allowed to bid for Levelling Up 2 on the technicality of having one ward in the city - Longlevens - which is part of another constituency - Tewkesbury. So I think we knew that we were lucky to get a chance to bid and it was no great surprise that we didn't win."

He continued: "But we've got all the plans now for the Greyfriars Quarter, the Eastgate Market and the old bowling club and I think we will be looking at those individually to see what we might be able to pursue through different routes.

"This bid would have been fantastic if we'd won it, but it's not all over yet. There will be a Levelling Up 3 bid."

Before putting in a further bid, Gloucester will seek Government feedback on the LUF2 bid, to see if there were any technical problems with the bid or any areas which could be improved to make success more likely in future.

Mr Graham said: "Sometimes these bids have slightly different biases. Sometimes there's a heritage bias, which would certainly be relevant to the Greyfriars element of our bid. Sometimes it's more directly focused on, for example tech and innovation, so that's why The Forum bid last time was successful.

"And of course, we have to look at where we can attract private investment, which doesn't need public funds."

Punchline said: "This isn't a big surprise. Gloucester already had the £20m funding, so this was always a gamble, But the good news is that the plans are already available for a future potential part 3."

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