Lucy Frazer: The answer to that point is absolutely not. The hon. Member forgot to mention that Scotland got £177 million—[Interruption.] The total is £349 million across both funds. The Opposition are making points about party politics, so I would like to point out that 45% of investment across both rounds has been allocated to areas held by Opposition parties.
Lucy Frazer: I thank my hon. Friend for her wise advice. Culture is very important and I am very pleased that we are levelling up in her area.
Lucy Frazer: I am very sorry that the hon. Gentleman has not been successful. There is, of course, a round 3. There is co-ordinated action across Government to ensure that we support and level up. I am sorry he does not feel that £2 billion for levelling up across the country in terms of culture, transport and improving the areas where communities live is not worthwhile. We believe it is.
Lucy Frazer: I thank my right hon. and learned Friend. I am sure it will be possible to discuss how Swindon can continue to grow. His area has indeed been successful in previous rounds. He mentioned the towns deal, which was allocated nearly £20 million. South Swindon will continue to be well represented—I know he fights for the area on a day-to-day basis.
Lucy Frazer: I am sorry the hon. Lady was not successful, but the area as a whole has been successful. As I mentioned, areas outside London and the south-east have received more per capita. I recommend that she looks forward to the third round.
Lucy Frazer: I am very grateful for my hon. Friend’s good advice, because those who were unsuccessful in round 1 have been successful in round 2. Round 3 is coming up and I look forward to announcing further funds in due course.
Lucy Frazer: As someone who grew up in Leeds, I think it is a great area. It has had significant regeneration over the years, which I have seen at first hand. Of course, further generation would be welcome. On the point about Opposition parties, I reiterate that 45% of the funding has gone to Opposition areas.
Lucy Frazer: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on her successful bid, and of course I would be happy to visit to see progressive work in action.
Lucy Frazer: I wish to clarify that the bidding process was transparent and clear. It will be published, as was done for round 1. I know that the hon. Gentleman’s area has had money from the UK shared prosperity fund in the past, and I am sure that if he makes further bids, they will be look at according to the criteria.
Lucy Frazer: The Department is keen to ensure that those areas that have not received round 1 or round 2 funding understand why that was the case and how they can improve their prospects in the future. I, or another Minister, would be happy to have a meeting to discuss how we can progress any further bids.
Lucy Frazer: I am grateful for the right hon. Gentleman’s comments, because they show that not only is funding being spread across the country and across parties, but that serious and considered work with feedback does make a difference. I cannot give him any assurances about any future funds, but those will be announced and dealt with in due course.
Lucy Frazer: I thank my hon. Friend for those points. Feedback will be given and I am sure that officials will work in the manner that he suggests. I would like to point out that Dudley got £25 million from the towns fund, which I hope he welcomed, but of course we can do more.
Lucy Frazer: I am sorry that the hon. Member has been unsuccessful. As I mentioned, there is a third round. I look forward to announcing any results of that in due course.
Lucy Frazer: I thank my hon. Friend for his campaigning work to improve the area of Blackpool. It is areas like that that we absolutely want to level up, to improve living standards and the lives of communities for those people who are living in Blackpool.
Lucy Frazer: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his points. There was £8 billion in funding and of course not everyone can be successful, even though a lot of very good bids were made. He makes a very important point about devolved powers; he will know that this Government have taken great strides in devolving power to Mayors across the country. Indeed, we very recently announced a number of other...
Lucy Frazer: I know that my hon. Friend campaigns very hard for her constituency in this and other areas. Of course we can confirm that we will be able to work with her local authority to ensure that a successful bid can be put forward.
Lucy Frazer: As I mentioned earlier, as someone who grew up in Leeds, I understand how important that area is and how much more we can do. As I have also mentioned, we had £8 billion and were only able to allocate £2.1 billion in this round, but further funds are available, and round 3 will take place in due course.
Lucy Frazer: Keighley has already received some feedback and we will of course provide more. We want to ensure that areas that deserve funding receive it, and that that is not scuppered by councils’ not making their bids as strong as possible.
Lucy Frazer: As I have said, significant funds are going to Scotland. The Barnett formula applies to every budget, and Scotland overall has received record sums across the board. I am proud that £20 million will be spent on developing important cultural assets in Aberdeenshire’s coastal towns.
Lucy Frazer: I am happy to confirm that the Department can provide that assistance. As my hon. Friend mentioned, Wolverhampton has received significant Government funds, including £25 million from the towns deal, but of course we can always do more.