The Chancellor of the Exchequer today announce that Worcester has been named as one of the top priority areas to benefit from a £4.8 billion fund that will provide capital investment for major projects.

The Levelling Up Fund was announced at the 2020 Spending Review to support places like Worcester to grow their economies and bind communities.

The Fund will focus on capital investment in local infrastructure, and will build on prior programmes such as the Future High Streets Fund which Worcester is benefitting by £18 million from, and the Towns Fund bid which has the opportunity to transform Worcester.

Bids will be favoured that have a visible impact on people and their communities. This includes a range of high value local investment priorities, including local transport schemes, urban regeneration projects and cultural assets.

Applications to the fund will be managed by local authorities and today’s budget allocated £150,000 to support them in writing their bids.

Worcester MP Robin Walker said:

“This news is a further commitment to Worcester by our government and demonstrates a real desire to level up opportunities to areas like ours.

“I lobbied hard for us to be included in the Future High Streets Fund and I was delighted when we were allocated £18 million for our City Centre in December last year. That funding will allow Worcester City Council to purchase and redevelop sites for cultural, commercial and residential use. In particular it will enable the reopening of the long-neglected Scala theatre providing Worcester with a major cultural boost and allowing for the Worcester Live theatre group to move from their site at the Swan to a better connected city centre location.

“I have also worked with the Towns Fund Board to ensure the Town Improvement Plan is exciting and ambitious and I was delighted when this was submitted last month. It is possible we will benefit from a £28 million cash injection from government, matched by funding from Worcester City Council that has the potential to transform our city.

“I now look forward to working with my colleagues in government and Worcester City Council to ensure we see the maximum possible impact from the Levelling Up Fund.”