Almost two-thirds of Yorkshire constituencies yet to receive levelling up cash, analysis finds

Almost two-thirds of constituencies in Yorkshire and Humber have yet to receive any funding from Government Levelling Up grants, new analysis from the office of Labour MP Jon Trickett has found.

Research from Mr Trickett’s office shared with The Yorkshire Post shows that of the 54 constituencies in the region, 34 are yet to receive anything from either the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund, Towns Fund, Brownfield Land Release Fund and Future High Streets Fund.

Of the 20 constituencies in the region with the highest recorded levels of deprivation, 13 are yet to receive any such funding.

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Mr Trickett, who is the MP for Hemsworth, said: “By contrast, 41 out of the 48 seats the Tories won from Labour in 2019 will be awarded finance from the Levelling Up Fund or Towns Fund.

Michael Gove's department has had its strategy for levelling up spending questioned by a Yorkshire MP.Michael Gove's department has had its strategy for levelling up spending questioned by a Yorkshire MP.
Michael Gove's department has had its strategy for levelling up spending questioned by a Yorkshire MP.

“This demonstrates how ‘levelling up’ is nothing more than cynical pork barrel politics for the short term electoral advantage of the Tories that leaves some of the poorest communities in our country behind.”

The Levelling Up Department said it rejected Mr Trickett’s analysis, with more than £400m from the Towns Fund alone going to places in Yorkshire.

Mr Trickett said the money that is being handed out “does not even come close to reversing the funding cuts the Tories have made to local budgets since 2010”.

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The £3.6bn being shared between the successful areas includes 80 places represented by Tory MPs, with 24 of the locations being in constituencies gained from Labour by the Conservatives at the last election.

Nine towns with both Conservative and Labour MPs were successful and just 12 towns only with Labour MPs were successful.

Speaking on the programme, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said he “completely rejects” the idea that allocations had been made on a political basis.

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Mr Trickett said: “The Conservatives are not levelling up, they’re doubling down on the same poisonous policies that have produced mass deprivation and growing inequality. The only way to build lasting change is a radical economic transformation.

“We need, as a first step, a massive investment programme on the scale of the Marshall Aid Plan after World War II that targets the areas that have been held back and invests in decent jobs, public services and local economies.”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities spokesperson said: "We reject this analysis - Levelling Up Fund awards were made using a fair, robust and transparent methodology to ensure we reach places most in need. Unsuccessful bidders are able to apply again in the second round, which is now open.

“Levelling up is more than one grant – it is a massively ambitious, generation-defining project to spread opportunity across the country, boost local communities and create well-paid jobs.

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“We are investing over £700 million towards levelling up high streets and other projects including Bradford, Scarborough, Goole, Doncaster and Wakefield as well a £142 million investment through the Brownfield Housing Fund.”

At The Yorkshire Post, we are committed to speaking truth to power on behalf of the people who call God’s Own County their home. Our political team and Westminster Correspondent are Yorkshire's eyes and ears in the corridors of power.

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