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Six Greater Manchester boroughs that were big winners in yesterday’s budget revealed

Budget measures announced by the Chancellor yesterday include levelling up cash boosts for six of Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs.

As well as a wider devolution package for the region, Jeremy Hunt announced funding for community regeneration projects in Stockport, Salford, Tameside and Wigan while Rochdale and Oldham will have access to a £400m fund over the next two years along with 18 other council in England.

Capital Levelling Up projects

Funding for a £20m new community hub with a pool, library, gym, community space and play park has been approved for Marple. The project will deliver a new swimming pool, library, fitness studio, community spaces and new cycling and walking routes.

How the Marple Active Communities Hub is set to look

The hub is a long-standing ambition for the town since Marple Baths had to close five years ago. Coun Mark Hunter, leader of the council said: “I’m delighted we have finally secured £20 million worth of Capital Levelling Up monies towards The Marple Active Communities Hub.

“This is such great news for Marple and for Stockport. “This will provide a much-needed new leisure, health and community space for the borough – in the heart of Marple.

“I’m excited to see the health and economic benefits this hub will bring to Stockport along with community pride.” The council said the building will be made from sustainable materials and use low carbon and energy technology.

The project will also include improved cycle and walking routes linking the hub to the centre of Marple and the Memorial Park as well as improved parking.
A planning application is expected this year.

Regeneration projects

The Chancellor announced that £200m would be allocated to 16 regeneration projects including millions for Tameside, Salford and Wigan. Tameside is the biggest winner in Greater Manchester as it has been awarded £19.9m.

Just weeks ago the borough missed out in its bid for £35m of levelling up fund money for investment in Stalybridge and Denton town centres. Salford City Council is to receive a £5.4m funding contribution for its plans to redevelop Eccles town centre.

A concept image of how Eccles town centre could look after regeneration

The funding comes after Eccles was turned down for levelling up funding in 2022. Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “It’s no secret that in recent years, Eccles, like many other town centres up and down the county has faced decline.

“So, today’s announcement in the Spring Budget is welcome and much-needed funding for the city. This is long-overdue funding and I’m glad the town centre is now getting the support it badly needs.”

Wigan Council has also been awarded £6.6m. Budget documents said this funding has been ‘targeted towards the left-behind places’ and projects have been ‘assessed as high quality and will commence delivery later this year”.

The Treasury said the regeneration projects would ‘start to spend and deliver quickly’ and included funding to ‘revitalise town centres and transform
derelict buildings for use by communities’.

Levelling Up partnerships

The Chancellor announced during his Spring budget speech that Oldham and Rochdale would be included in a £400m funding pot designated for ‘levelling up partnerships’. The two Greater Manchester boroughs will be among 20 local authorities having access to a programme that the Treasury says involves ‘deep dives’ carried out by councils, MPs, business and civic leaders to gather a ‘picture of a place and its unique challenges and opportunities, and identify cross-Government interventions to unblock obstacles to regeneration’.

No specific schemes have been for the two areas have been identified at this stage but any money directed to the boroughs will come in the next two years.

The Treasury added: “The rolling out of Levelling Up Partnerships will provide bespoke place-based regeneration in an initial 20 of England’s areas most in need of levelling up over 2023-24 and 2024-25.”

Rochdale and Oldham were were selected as places in England in need of intervention after metrics such as the percentage of adults with qualifications, gross value added per hour worked, median gross weekly pay and healthy life expectancy were examined. In his budget speech, the chancellor said: “I will make over £400m available for new Levelling Up Partnerships in areas that include Redcar and Cleveland, Blackburn, Oldham, Rochdale, Mansfield, South Tyneside, and Bassetlaw.”

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