A new ferry for Fair Isle, restoration of Kilmarnock’s historic Palace Theatre, and regeneration in Stirling are just some of the transformational local projects across Scotland awarded a share of £2.1 billion from the UK Government’s landmark Levelling Up Fund.
Major UK Government investment will benefit people across Scotland by spreading opportunity and breathing new life into historically overlooked areas.
A total of ten projects in Scotland have been allocated more than £177 million from round two of the Levelling Up Fund. The projects will create jobs, drive economic growth, help restore people’s pride in the places where they live and spread opportunity more equally.
This government say this will drive forward the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy by levelling up and provide the foundations for building a better future in communities across the UK. The government website states: “By working together the UK is better able to collectively tackle the individual challenges faced by every region and nation across the country.”
Grants include nearly £27 million for a new roll-on, roll-off ferry for Fair Isle. There is also £20 million to fund the refurbishment of Kilmarnock’s 163-year-old Palace Theatre and Grand Hall, and a new park near the town square, as well as more than £19 million towards the regeneration of the Forthside area in Stirling.
In Aberdeenshire, £20 million will transform Peterhead’s disused Arbuthnot House into a new museum, library and cultural hub, while the popular marine aquarium in Macduff will be modernised and expanded.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere.
That’s why we are backing a number of projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities in Scotland.
By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives and the places they call home.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:
We are firing the starting gun on more than a hundred transformational projects in every corner of the UK that will revitalise communities that have historically been overlooked but are bursting with potential.
This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride. We are delivering on the people’s priorities, levelling up across the UK to ensure that no matter where you are from, you can go as far as your talents will take you.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:
It’s fantastic to see real momentum gathering as we level up across Scotland. This latest round of UK Government funding will see more than £177 million invested into 10 exciting projects which will breathe new life into communities across Scotland.
Working with local partners we are boosting culture and leisure in Aberdeenshire, Galloway and Kilmarnock; improving connectivity in Shetland and Dundee; regenerating Greenock and Cumbernauld town centres; unlocking huge swathes of land for green development in East Lothian and Stirling; and helping communities in Fife connect with nature.
We must and will continue to invest in initiatives that will make a difference to communities and help grow our economy. So far we have announced more than £2.26 billion – including the two Freeports confirmed last week – to bring prosperity and growth to Scotland that is crucial as we tackle the challenges associated with rising energy prices and the increased cost of living.
Projects in Scotland awarded Levelling Up Fund grants in round 2:
- nearly £27 million has been guaranteed for a new roll-on, roll-off ferry for Fair Isle. The service is a lifeline for the island, supporting its residents, visitors and supply chains, and without its replacement the community will become further isolated.
- in Aberdeenshire, £20 million will transform Peterhead’s disused Arbuthnot House into a new museum, library and cultural hub, while the popular marine aquarium in Macduff will be modernised and expanded.
- there is £20 million to fund the refurbishment of 163-year-old Palace Theatre and Grand Hall, and a new park near the town square in Kilmarnock.
- in Dundee, £14 million will go towards redeveloping a dated multi-storey car park into a sustainable transport hub, creating 350 electrical vehicle charging points, car share spaces, and an e-bike hire scheme.
- nearly £20 million will help demolish and reroute the A78 dual carriageway to reconnect and transform Greenock town centre into a modern, vibrant hub based around public squares and green spaces.
- in Stirling, more than £19 million will go towards the regeneration of the Forthside area, helping to create 1,000 new jobs.
- more than £19.4 million to accelerate the regeneration of Riverside Park in Fife and improve access to the River Leven with new walking routes.
- in Cumbernauld, more than £9 million will support the demolition and regeneration of two failing shopping centres and a vacant office block, helping to bring education, employment and homes into the heart of North Lanarkshire’s largest town.
- in East Lothian, nearly £11.3 million of funding will help free up land at a former coal fired power station for future, green regeneration.
- almost £18 million will help Dumfries and Galloway turn redundant spaces and buildings into exciting new cultural and leisure opportunities.
The major investment announced follows the allocation of £1.7 billion to 105 projects from round one of the Levelling Up Fund in 2021– taking the total allocated so far from the fund to £3.8 billion. In Scotland there was an allocation of £172 million to 8 Scottish projects from round one of the Levelling Up Fund in 2021– taking the total allocated so far from the fund to £349 million. The UK Government’s levelling up projects across Scotland can be explored on this map.
The UK Government has also confirmed there will be a further round of the Levelling Up Fund, providing more opportunity to level up places across the UK.