LEIGH is among 19 other northern towns to receive millions of pounds to help revitalise its centre.

A £11.4 million share of the Levelling Up Fund will help boost several improvements across the historic heart of Leigh town centre, creating flexible and active spaces to promote cultural and community events and better connections across the town.

The money will go towards improvements to Civic Square, the regeneration of high street shop fronts in places such as Bradshawgate, and the refurbishment of Leigh Market.

These projects have been chosen following the council's unsuccessful Levelling Up bid in January. The government has stated that another round of bidding will not take place, but has awarded funding to the second round's 'ready to deliver' proposals.

This news comes on top of another cash injection for Leigh last month where £20m was promised over a 10-year period to help regenerate high streets and tackle anti-social behaviour. 

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Leigh Journal: Improvements to Civic Square was part of the council's previous Levelling Up bidImprovements to Civic Square was part of the council's previous Levelling Up bid (Image: Wigan Council)

Speaking about the new pot of funding, MP for Leigh James Grundy said: “While I am delighted to hear that the Government have awarded £11,389,554 of the Levelling Up Fund to Leigh, I am disappointed that a third round of bidding has not gone ahead to allow the case to be made to resubmit an updated bid for the full £20 million available.

“I welcome, however, that the fund has been successful this year and that should the council confirm that the proposals in the bid are still deliverable, Leigh will benefit from the Levelling Up Fund.

“I am hopeful that concerns over the challenges in implementing these projects with the new fund can be addressed in advance and in a way that works best for local people, businesses and market traders.”

Leigh Journal: James Grundy MP welcomed the fundingJames Grundy MP welcomed the funding (Image: James Grundy MP)
The bid for Leigh was unsuccessful back in January and Wigan Council blamed the Leigh MP for not backing the plan – which Mr Grundy believed did not go far enough.

This means that all three of Wigan’s original bids have now been successful after Ashton-in-Makerfield received £6.6m for their town centre regeneration and Wigan’s Haigh Hall was granted £20 million in order to rejuvenate the site and ‘bring it back to its former glory’.

Ashton’s £7.2m bid was unsuccessful back in January, like Leigh, but was given government cash in March. Now the £11.4m for Leigh completes the set. 

Leigh Journal: Improvements will be made to the marketImprovements will be made to the market (Image: Wigan Council)
Funding is spread across all corners of Great Britain, with the North West receiving £128 million, the North East £59 million, Yorkshire and the Humber £169 million and the Midlands £171m in total. 

Levelling up Secretary Michael Gove said in the announcement: “Levelling Up means delivering local people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.

"Today we are backing 55 projects across the UK with £1 billion to create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth, and revitalise local areas.

“This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our Long-Term Plan for Towns.”

Leigh Journal: Improved shop fronts are part of the regeneration schemeImproved shop fronts are part of the regeneration scheme (Image: Wigan Council)