County council submits £50m 'Levelling Up' bid East Lancs boost

·1-min read
County Hall at Preston
County Hall at Preston

A BID for £50million of government cash to boost Lancashire - with the focus on the east of the county - has been submitted to Whitehall today.

Lancashire County Council's cabinet has sent off its proposals to the national £4.8billion 'Levelling Up' fund covering its 12 districts.

They include Hyndburn, Burnley, Ribble Valley, Pendle and Rossendale.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is submitting a separate 'Levelling Up' bid worth £40million focussing on £20m to create a skills and education campus next and £20m for transport improvements including a major upgrade of the Guide Junction Five of the M65 motorway.

The county council bid has been titled: "Levelling Up East Lancashire: creating opportunities through greener, safer and healthier travel".

It proposes three thematic interventions for the districts of Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.

They are:

* creating 'Liveable Neighbourhoods' by making places attractive to investors, by connecting places and communities, providing access to jobs, and boosting high streets and residential areas;

* improving public transport by upgrading its infrastructure cutting and journey times to boost economic opportunities; and

* promoting active travel by connecting existing and proposed routes for leisure purposes, increasing walking and cycling footfall, to improve health and well-being.

Cllr Aidy Riggott, the county council's economic development boss, said: "A huge amount of work has been undertaken to identify the areas that would benefit the most from the Levelling Up Fund. This includes looking at levels of employment, health, physical activity, air quality, car ownership, road accidents, walking and cycling, and bus and rail services.

"We are confident in presenting a strong bid which is not only deliverable but meets the fund's core objectives."

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