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Levelling Up fund: Two bids to improve NHS approved

Levelling Up fund: Two bids to improve NHS approved
By Jess Hacker
19 January 2023

The Government has approved two funding bids to directly improve the NHS and social care with money from its latest Levelling Up Fund announcements.

More than 100 projects across the UK were awarded a share of the £2.1bn made available in the second round of the Government’s levelling up scheme.

Around £672m will go to developing better transport links, and around £594m will go to restoring local heritage sites.

Two bids directly proposing to restore or develop the local health and care sector – worth £27.4m in total – have received funding from the pot.

In Somerset, Sedgemoor District Council has been awarded £19.7m to repurpose a former hospital in Bridgwater and an empty public building in Minehead to create a new academy to train up health and social care staff.

And Camden council, in London, will receive £7.7m to help tackle health inequalities with cycling and walking infrastructure, and local GP services.

However, other projects have received funding to help promote healthier living – such as a new leisure centre in Farnborough to help tackle high levels of obesity, inactivity, and poor mental health in the surrounding areas.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: ‘This is a major down payment on local jobs, growth and regeneration, all part of our mission to level up opportunity across the country.

‘To unlock more growth right across the country, we are making it easier for locally-elected leaders to make things happen without banging on a Whitehall door by extending devolution deals to all areas of England that want them by 2030.’

The successful bids follow on from the £1.7bn allocated to 105 projects in the first round of the Levelling Up Fund in 2021.

The Government also confirmed there will be a further round of the Levelling Up Fund.

It comes after the Government announced £250m funding would be freed up to help ICBs buy up beds in care homes and other settings, increasing capacity in hospital wards.

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