20 places to be transformed through government regeneration plans

Wolverhampton and Sheffield are expected to be the first of 20 places to be targeted by the government’s levelling up strategy, which is set to be announced this week.

Under plans to be set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, derelict sites in towns and cities will be transformed to create new homes and jobs.

In Wolverhampton, local leaders will be given tools to revitalise the city and the wider Wolverhampton to Walsall corridor, building on the government’s £20m Levelling Up Fund investment and the new DLUHC headquarters in the city.

In Sheffield, new regeneration opportunities will capitalise on the government’s £37, Levelling Up Fund and the upcoming Integrated Rail Plan electrification and upgrades which will cut journey times between Sheffield and London.

The 20 selected areas will be prioritised within the new £1.5bn Brownfield Fund, with the regeneration programme spearheaded by Homes England.

aerial photography of houses

Levelling Up Secretary Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said: ‘We are on a mission to regenerate the nation, transforming derelict areas in our towns and cities into thriving places people are proud to live and work in.

‘We are refocusing Homes England and empowering local leaders to support levelling up, delivering Kings Cross style transformational regeneration projects across the country – starting in Wolverhampton and Sheffield.

‘This huge investment in infrastructure and regeneration will spread opportunity more evenly and help to reverse the geographical inequalities which still exist in the UK.’

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, commented: ‘Here in the West Midlands we have been the real pioneers of a brownfield-first approach to housing, using government cash to remediate derelict old industrial sites and turn them into thriving new communities – all whilst protecting irreplaceable greenbelt land.

‘So I am absolutely delighted that the government are continuing to support our work, putting further funding on the table so we can build on the progress we have already made. I am particularly pleased to see the new funding for Wolverhampton, which is really at the heart of the brownfield revolution taking place in the West Midlands.’

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire, said: ‘I warmly welcome this support for regeneration in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. It’s a much needed recognition of the potential of our region.

‘Giving Homes England a wider focus on regeneration is also a very positive move, as is their commitment to support local and regional leadership. We’ve always argued for a more joined up approach, and lasting progress can only be driven from our communities. The key challenge will be ensuring that this comes with the long-term, transformative investment we need, and that it connects not just housing and buildings but skills, public services and environment.

‘We’re looking forward to working with the government to realise the ambition we all share to create a better future for Sheffield and South Yorkshire.’

In related news, major voices from across policy, politics and academia agree that a hyper-local approach focused on the needs of the most challenged communities is needed to achieve levelling up aims, according to a new report.

Photo by Benjamin Elliott


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