Levelling Up: No cash for Fife in latest grants and not unexpected

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Fife has been left out of the latest round of Levelling Up grants from the UK Government and according to Fife’s head of business and employability, Gordon Mole, it wasn’t unexpected.

Discussion of the most recent grants came up at Fife’s Partnership Board meeting on Tuesday. It was discussing an update for Fife’s UK Shared Investment Plan when Council’s opposition leader David Alexander (SNP for Leven, Kennoway and Largo) raised the subject.

“We’ve not got a penny of it,” he said, asking about the impact to the council.

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Proposals for Moray, North and South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish borders have each been awarded a share of the flagship fund, but Fife has not been earmarked to receive anything this time around. Mr Mole explained that the UK Government’s decision to invest in other parts of Scotland over Fife did not come as a surprise.

Houses of Parliament (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)Houses of Parliament (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Houses of Parliament (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

“It was previously referenced by the Levelling Up Minister that they were focusing on places which didn’t have wider infrastructure such as Green Freeports or Investment Zones so it’s not perhaps unexpected,” Mr Mole said. “I understand that the £122 million was allocated to projects across Scotland largely where those areas had not previously been funded through rounds one or two.”

Earlier this year the UK Government announced two Green Freeports in Scotland, one of which is in the Firth of Forth. In January, Fife was also awarded a £19.4million package of Levelling Up funding from the UK Government to boost several major projects in Fife.

Although the Kingdom missed out on this round of funding, Council Leader David Ross told the partnership to “watch this space” going forward.

“We’ll keep pressing [Westminster] particularly for the future which seems a bit unclear,” he said.