Agenda item

Levelling Up Fund Grant Acceptance


Consideration was given to a report of the Executive Director, Place and Economic Development which sought approval of and to accept the £20m Levelling Up Round 2 (LUF2) capital grant allocation following confirmation of award from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) in January 2023.

Three projects were selected by DLUHC for progression and financial support from LUF2 broken down as follows: -

  • £4.790m for Jubilee Park and Greenway Corridor,
  • £6.400m for Northern Roots Learning Centre
  • £8.810m for Green Shoots Business Centre

The Levelling Up Fund Round 2 (LUF2) prospectus was introduced in March 2022 with a focus on the following three investment themes:

 • local transport projects that make a genuine difference to local areas

 • town centre and high street regeneration; and

 • support for maintaining and expanding the UK’s world-leading portfolio of cultural and   heritage assets.

LUF2 is a competitive process between local authorities and funding award decisions made by Central Government, specifically the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). In August 2022, Oldham submitted 2 bids into LUF2; the Green Technology and Innovation Network and the Creative Improvement District.

Within Round 2, more than 100 projects totaling £2.1 billion had been supported to boost economies, regenerate communities, and enhance transportation links across the UK. Oldham was successful in its application for £20m for the Green Technology and Innovation Network.  The bid for Creative Improvement District was unfortunately unsuccessful in this round; however there remained further opportunities within the LUF programme to develop and resubmit in the future.

Oldham was one of 111 areas awarded funding to support the three projects within the town centre included in the Green Technology and Innovation Network bid, which aim to enhance active travel networks, deliver vital education infrastructure and create transformational public open space.

The Creating a Better Place Operations Board and Programme Board would provide oversight and strategic management of the projects. This board was already established and working successfully to deliver the Manchester Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund. The Programme Board would meet monthly to discuss Oldham’s wider public realm and active travel projects and are ideally placed to include the LUF projects within their remit.

A Monitoring Group is being established to oversee financial obligations against performance and will report into the CAPB structures.  Wider governance within the Council is in place to ensure issues can be managed with an appropriate level of authority which will ensure the delivery of the project objectives to cost, quality and time.

Delivery for the projects would require the appointment of experienced external contractors and service providers, including project managers/employers' agents; cost consultants; design consultants and other specialist consultants as required, along with main contractors.  All the aforementioned will hold the relevant insurances and will be required to indemnify the Council in event of any adverse impact resulting from their involvement.

The appointment of project professionals would be closely managed through enforceable contracts. External legal and other appropriate professional advice will be in place to supplement in-house advice and to support the delivery of the projects, which will be developed to support the Council’s vision and to assist in the discharge of its fiduciary duties. 


Option 1 - Do Nothing This option means relinquishing the opportunity to bring investment of £20m into Oldham.  Not only would this be a significant loss of valuable resources but also an extremely negative reflection of Oldham and its ambitions.  As one of only three GM authorities to be successful in its application to LUF2, Oldham’s standing within GM would suffer significant political and reputational damage in this scenario.

Option 2:

        Formally accept the LUF2 Grant Award of £20m in respect of the Green Innovation and Technology Network and agree and enter into a grant agreement with DLUFC

        Approve the expenditure of the LUF2 Grant Award in accordance with this report


RESOLVED – That The Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 20 of the agenda before making a decision.

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