Leigh is about to miss out on £20million
Wigan Council's Levelling up bid falls short
21st June 2022
Wigan Council have published a levelling-up bid that fails to deliver
Wigan Council are asking for our opinion of their Levelling Up Fund bid proposal. The Levelling Up fund aims to create higher paid, higher skilled jobs and new investment. There is £20million available to Leigh and we've been classified as a priority 1 town. We can only bid for this once and we can’t change the bid once submitted. If the bid doesn’t meet the criteria we won’t get the funding. We don’t have to submit the bid in July, there are further rounds of funding. So it’s vitally important we submit the right bid, but we don’t have to do it next month.
Wigan council have listened to our ideas for over 18months and put their own bid together behind closed doors. This bid falls short of any meaningful regeneration and is a bid to keep Leigh as it is. They are only asking for half the money available, turning down an additional £10million.
They have announced their bid for the first time today, leaving the public only 9 days to decide on something that will affect the next 15 years of our town’s future.
There are much better options available that make use of the full £20million and the council are aware of this. We need to convince the council to listen to us and submit the bid that our town needs.
WE NEED TO ACT NOW
1.Give your feedback
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Understanding the issues with the current bid
A bid to keep Leigh just the way it is
Improvements to Civic Square
- Without an anchor building to draw people to the square, what would attract people to use it?
- Events can take place as it stands, but they do not. Improving the fabric of the square will not fix this problem.
- Narrowing the road but without removing the central barrier will not improve it’s connection to the town, there is no benefit to this narrowing.
- This project does not work in isolation, it does not generate any more interest, attraction or commerce in our town.
- This is not levelling up.
- The concept is sound, however it should be part of a bigger plan to regenerate our town and attract people to Leigh.
- We believe that it should be managed by local businesses to ensure local contractors and small businesses can be used to deliver it.
- The council's procurement process favours larger companies and it’s unlikely that local shopfitters would be able to participate in the scheme.
- The money spent on this scheme would leave our town.
- This is maintenance work that should have already been carried out by the council.
- The market has made over £10million revenue in it’s 20 year lifespan and this should have been reinvested back into the building.
- The levelling up fund is not intended to be used by the council to maintain its assets, it should be used to transform our town for the better.
- Spending money on the market in this way will only maintain the current status quo.
- This will not attract a substantial amount of new visitors and customers to our town or create new jobs.
- Leigh has been given priority 1 status and there is £20million available. These projects amount to £10million. Why are we not bidding for the full amount available to us?
- The Levelling up fund’s purpose is to transform the UK economy by generating higher paid, higher skilled jobs and new investment. This proposal does not do that.
- This is a bid to keep Leigh as it is, there is nothing here that will create new jobs and investment.
- There are many projects available to the council that we have spent over a year developing, all of which are achievable in the next few years with a fund of £20million and these proposals would kick start the regeneration of our town.
What's the alternative?
There are several alternative proposals backed up by months of research, evidence and examples of success. These proposals will create jobs and investment in our town and can be achieved with the full £20million investment - why should we settle for less? Find out more