‘To say we are disappointed is an understatement’ was the underlying feeling from Bolsover District Council’s Leader as he received the news that their Levelling Up bid had been unsuccessful.
In August 2022, we submitted a £14.2million bid to the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ fund to help regenerate and breathe new life into Bolsover Town Centre.
But this morning (19 January 2023) we received a letter from the Minister for Levelling Up, Dehenna Davison MP stating the bid had been unsuccessful.
Council Leader, Councillor Steve Fritchley said, “We feel completely let down and to say we are disappointed is an understatement. Four years ago we had the promise of Levelling Up funds to help regenerate our District, but four years down the line and we have still not received a penny. It’s a disgrace.
“We were told we could not bid for round one because we weren’t ‘deprived’ enough. But here we are in round two and yet again we have nothing to show, after spending hours in time and resources putting a bid together.”
The bid would have helped regenerate vacant town centre properties, create a cultural hub that would have included a cinema, theatre and live performance space and assistance for businesses to improve their shop fronts.
Money would have also been spent on improving the 5G network and installing fibre in the town centre to help improve connectivity and provide much needed Wi-Fi. And with improvements to public realm (pavements, signage, street furniture, etc), all this would have helped the town attract and encourage residents and visitors to spend more time in the town.
Councillor Fritchley added, “We are getting used to these setbacks and empty promises. But we won’t sit here feeling sorry for ourselves, we will look at what options are available to us and continue with our ambitions to help stimulate growth and provide town centre regeneration and cultural opportunities in the town and across Bolsover District.”
We will now discuss the various options available to us and look at other funding streams to help us achieve our ambitions.