Decision details

Levelling Up Fund Applications

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


The Cabinet considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director (Growth and Housing) setting out the proposed approach to applications to the Government’s Levelling-Up Fund (LUF) and the outcomes that would be achieved by successful bids.




1. That a bid to the Levelling-Up Fund (LUF) for highways in the first round, noting the associated additional capital and revenue costs, be approved.


2. That a bid to the LUF for the visitor economy in the first round, noting the associated additional capital and revenue costs, be approved.


3. That a further bid for culture-led town centre regeneration be developed in the second round as a lead authority for a potential joint bid with Rochford District Council, noting the need for associated additional capital and revenue costs for the Council and that Cabinet consider this bid further once the business case has been developed.


4. That if these bids are successful the relevant legal agreements be entered into to draw down the funding.


5. That the addition of £880,000 to the 2021/22 and 2022/23 Capital Investment Programme funded from  borrowing to enable preliminary works associated with this bid to commence for the Leigh Port element of the visitor economy bid, be approved.


6. That the required additions (including additional resources for match funding) to the Capital Investment Programme, as set out in section 7.2 of the submitted report once the final outcome of the bids are known, be approved.


7. That the additional revenue implications to the Council of proceeding with these schemes be noted and if the bids are successful that these additional revenue costs will need to be considered as part of the Annual Budget Setting process in February 2022.


Reasons for decision:


The outcomes and benefits to be gained from these three bids cut across a significant number of the Southend 2050 outcomes. If successful, the LUF funded projects themselves will support some of Southend’s key sectors, driving up footfall and spend, thereby safeguarding and potentially creating jobs.  They will also enhance the visitor offer, deliver improvements to traffic flows, environmental impact and community cohesion.


Other options:


1. It could be decided not to pursue any LUF bids and focus on existing projects in the capital programme.  This would be to the detriment of Southend both in terms of the funding which could be attracted to deliver existing 2050 priorities while supporting economic recovery, and in terms of reputation and actively pursuing levelling-up and growth ambitions.


2. Alternatively the Council could decide to pursue other projects for the three bids.  As the proposed bids are rooted in consultation and delivery of 2050 outcomes, this could risk disenfranchisement and reputational damage amongst stakeholders and delay economic recovery.


Note: This is a Council Function

Referred direct to Special Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Cabinet Member: Cllr Gilbert

Report author: Emma Cooney

Publication date: 18/06/2021

Date of decision: 15/06/2021

Decided at meeting: 15/06/2021 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents:


Get the best from this site

We use simple text files called 'cookies'. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For more information, including how to turn cookies off, see more about cookies - or simply click the Continue button to use this site as normal.