Levelling Up

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20 November 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michael Shanks Michael Shanks Labour, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 3:43, 20 November 2023

My first correspondence to the Government since being elected was to ask the Secretary of State to look again at the levelling-up bid for Shawfield in my constituency. I am delighted that, after only a month in this place, he has awarded £14 million to that project. It will be a challenge to keep that up, I suspect. This is a really important project, which not only unlocks huge investment in my constituency but clears up a toxic legacy where, in the 19th century, the world’s largest chemical factory once was. It will make a huge difference to my constituency.

The Minister has been asked a number of times to reflect on the costs for local authorities in coming up with these bids, and I do not think that we have had an answer yet. As part of his review, will he look at those significant costs? I know that organisations in my constituency such as Clyde Gateway and South Lanarkshire Council spent huge amounts of time, expertise and money pulling together bids, which they then thought were dead; now they realise that the project has a second chance. Will he think about the total costs involved and reimburse local authorities for them?