AN £11.4 million bid to regenerate areas of Leigh town centre has been unsuccessful in the latest round of the Levelling Up fund.

With councils available to submit bids of up to £20m for each constituency as part of the government's £4.8b Levelling Up fund, Wigan Council submitted three bids for projects across the borough.

The local authority was successful in its £20m bid on transforming Haigh Hall into a "cultural visitor destination of national significance".

However, the £11.4m bid for Leigh and a £7.2m bid for Ashton-in-Makerfield have been rejected by the government.

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Leigh Journal: An illustration of a proposed revamped Civic SquareAn illustration of a proposed revamped Civic Square (Image: Wigan Council)

Bid without the support of the MP

Projects in Leigh's bid included a revamped Civic Square, enhanced shop fronts in the town centre, and a refurbished Leigh Market.

Improvements to road safety and community spaces were also prioritised to create a more welcoming environment for shoppers and visitors.

However, many were disappointed with the council's bid back in August, feeling that it was doomed to fail as it did not have the support from the town's MP, James Grundy, and was not a bid for the full £20m available.

After consultations with stakeholders and the public, the council stated that the £11.4m bid was submitted as they felt its projects performed well against the government's "stringent criteria", as a whole bid can fail if one proposal is rejected.

Leigh Journal: The Council planned to revamp shop fronts in the town centreThe Council planned to revamp shop fronts in the town centre (Image: Wigan Council)

'A big setback'

Steven Tomlinson, director of Leigh Means Business, consulted with the council on its Levelling Up bid.

He said: "This is a big setback for the people of Leigh, who are now three years into the levelling up scheme and are yet to receive any funding, despite being classified a priority one town.

"Our town desperately needs a genuine bid, for the full £20 million, designed to kick-start the regeneration of the town centre in a meaningful way and time is running out.

"We would like Wigan Council to listen to the voices of the residents and businesses in Leigh and commit to working with Leigh Means Business to produce a bid based on input from the local community and feedback received from the public consultation already carried out.

"We want what’s best for our town and we are eager to see the full £20 million spent on projects that will give Leigh the best possible future."

Leigh Journal: Leigh Market refurbishments were planned in the bidLeigh Market refurbishments were planned in the bid (Image: Wigan Council)