Agenda item

Levelling Up Fund Round Two


Members reviewed and discussed the proposed approach to developing proposals to be submitted to round two of the UK Government Levelling Up Fund.


            The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) introduced the report which highlighted the Round Two Levelling Up for capital projects and the ongoing work involved prior to submission in the spring.  This was being presented to Cabinet next week and comments from this committee would be fed into that report.


            The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager provided background to the Capital Programme which was announced in 2021, running until 2024, and was part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda.  The Council was able to bid three times for strategic transport projects and regeneration programmes in the Alyn & Deeside and Delyn constituencies.   All councils were able to bid with successful Councils required to provide a minimum of 10% match funding.  The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager reported on the unsuccessful bid last year, the priorities and concerns around the timescale for completion of the bids, which was unclear at the current time.  He provided information on the bid strategies focusing on the coastal communities in Flintshire which included the legacy of former heavy industry, improving employment sites, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and safeguarding important heritage sites.  It was hoped that these bids would help to retain employers, bring heritage assets back into use and encourage local people and visitors to visit the coastal area.   


He then provided information on the 4 market failures addressed in the bids following:-


·         Under investment in building stock with many at the end of the shelf life

·         Heritage – many sites were in decline

·         Connah’s Quay docks

·         Coastline – need to ensure it’s valued with connection issues addressed


            The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager confirmed the proposals were at the development stage with more work required.  Information was provided on the proposals for Delyn, Flint Castle Park and Greenfield Business Park, which were using former heavy industry buildings.  These were owned by the Council and the proposals could safeguard the jobs on these sites. 


            Moving onto Alyn & Deeside, the Enterprise and Regeneration Manager outlined the proposals for Connah’s Quay docks, the business park and also tackling the issues of crime and anti-social behaviour.  The proposals for the Clock Tower in Shotton and modernisation of the business units, utilising the business property grant scheme, were explained.    Improved access to the whole area would be considered to encourage visitors.  The timeline for the bids, how they would be assessed, shortlisted for submission whilst ensuring they were robust and deliverable, was also explained.  The report would be presented to Cabinet next week with the Chief Officer and Cabinet Member moving this forward with delegated authority to amend the bid to meet UK Government requirements.


            Councillor Paul Shotton said the Levelling up Fund was an opportunity to improve the heritage at Connah’s Quay Docks and bring it back into use.  The availability of business grants, improvements to the former steelworks and John Summers buildings would be beneficial for whole area.  His concerns were around the short time frame to 2024.


            Councillor Joe Johnson referred to Greenfield and asked if this provided new units or renovation of the old ones.  He also asked if there was a waiting list for these units.   In response the Enterprise and Regeneration Manager commented that assessment work was ongoing but that some were beyond repair.  This was at an early stage with meetings being held with the tenants to discuss options and to support these businesses.  If the funding was available some units would be demolished and rebuilt. There was a real demand and there would be no difficulties in letting them.


            Councillor Sean Bibby commented that there was such fantastic potential for the whole coastline which was under-utilised.    Referring to the anti-social behaviour and drug dealing problems, he paid tribute to the hard work the agencies and Police had undertaken to mitigate them.  He fully supported all the areas covered in these bids.


            Councillor Patrick Heesom asked to whom more detailed representations should be made.   In response, the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) asked that all comments be submitted in writing to the Enterprise and Regeneration Manager prior to Cabinet next Tuesday.


            The Cabinet Member for Economic Development had concerns about the timescales and success rate saying all bids had to be watertight.  He was optimistic and said linking constituencies with opportunities to promote coastal heritage would provide a tangible direction of travel towards 2024. 


            The Chair said that the business park at Greenfield was in need of investment as it was in one of the most deprived areas in Flintshire.  She added that the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park (MF2) in the report was part of the plan for Holywell Town Council.


The recommendations were moved and seconded by Councillors Paul Shotton and Sean Bibby




Members reviewed and discussed the proposed approach to developing proposals to be submitted to round two of the UK Government Levelling Up Fund.

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