Sheffield ‘gutted’ to miss out on ‘much-needed’ £36 million Levelling Up funding
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Last summer, Sheffield Council submitted a bid of more than £19m to revive Parkwood Springs – including the site of the old ski village – into a new Country Park and a bid of more than £17m for improvements to community facilities in Heeley.
City leaders were today “gutted” to learn they were both unsuccessful.
Gleadless Valley councillor Paul Turpin said the Heeley bid – which included bringing Ann’s Grove School, Ashtree Yard and Meersbrook Hall back to life and creating a state-of-the-art health centre – would have made a “massive difference” to the area.
Coun Turpin added: “I’m gutted the Tory government has left us out of this potentially game-changing fund. Heeley is very much in need of this investment.
“Massive credit must still go to Heeley Trust for the work they’ve done to convince the council that Heeley is worth it in the first place and to put forward a credible application in collaboration with them.
“We still need these projects funding and our community still needs the support Heeley Trust provides so we will not be throwing in the towel. Along with the trust we will collectively pick ourselves up and continue to do our best for the community we serve.”
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of the transport, regeneration and climate committee, said the council remained committed to seeing the plans through.
He said: “We are naturally disappointed.
“It’s an absolute priority for us to secure a bright future for Parkwood Springs and we will now begin to seek alternative funding routes to see out our vision. We are still in talks with Skyline and we reached out to them this morning to discuss next steps.
“While this is clearly disappointing, we still have plenty to look forward to in Sheffield, including our first two successful Levelling Up bids for Castlegate and Attercliffe.
“This news will not dampen our spirits in Sheffield – we are even more determined to secure the best for our city, fighting every day to bring in investment whilst focusing on getting the most out of every penny we spend.”
There was anger in the north after analysis of government data revealed the South East was granted twice as much funding as Yorkshire and £1.1 billion of the total £1.6 billion given across England went to Tory areas.
Coun Iqbal said Yorkshire and Humberside ranked only 11th out of 12th for Levelling Up funding by population across the UK.
Labour Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, said it was “absurd”.
She said: “It’s a blow that Sheffield Heeley was not successful in their bid that would have transformed the area, bringing job opportunities and community resources.
“Labour will do things differently and will see the biggest ever transfer of power out of Westminster through the Take Back Control Act, meaning local leaders can harness the skills and assets in their communities to drive growth.”