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Lancashire aims for more funding for transport

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Moves to support a bid for up to £50million for transport schemes in Lancashire look set to be given the green light by councillors.

The Government has made £4.8billion available through its Levelling Up Fund, which aims to give local authorities the opportunity to get ‘shovel-ready projects’ underway in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of Lancashire County Council’s cabinet will be asked later today (Thursday 8 July) to back a proposal to create a bid for a share of the funding, and make up to £5million available in match funding.

It is expected the final bid would be submitted later this year.

County Councillor Alan Vincent, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “This is a really important step for the council and it’s vital we make resources available to give this bid the best chance of succeeding.

“We can bid for up to £50million, which will go a long way to supporting major transport schemes in the county, which in turn will benefit residents.

“The Levelling Up Fund has been designed to not just bring economic benefits to areas, but also help bind communities together by bringing inward investment and jobs, while also enhancing the local skills base and tackling health inequalities.

“We know that bids will be prioritised which invest in regeneration and growth and feel Lancashire has a really good chance.”

County Councillor Charlie Edwards, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m rightly proud of the transport schemes we already have underway in the county, such as the building of the Preston Western Distributor Road and the M55 to Heyhouses Link Road.

“But I would also like to see Lancashire receive a fairer share of funding for our road network, and so we will be putting together the strongest bid we can to get more schemes off the ground.

“We will fight tooth and nail for this investment, as we know what a positive impact these schemes can have on people’s lives and ensure that Lancashire continues to grow.”

For more information, the agenda item is available online at: council.lancashire.gov.uk/documents/s182338/Report.pdf

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