June 20, 2022 3.00 pm

Boston’s bid for £20m Levelling Up Funding goes before councillors

Warning against disjointed approach

Councillors in Boston will be asked to support a renewed bid for £20 million Levelling Up Funding at a meeting next week.

The members of the authority’s full council also warned that “a disjointed response to any bid from the council is likely to undermine the council’s reputation externally, particularly with government.”

The second round of Levelling Up Funding aims to deliver infrastructure which can improve residents’ lives and give pride in their communities.

Councils have until July 6 to get their bids in, with the government expected to announce the outcomes in the autumn.

Boston Borough Council wants to regenerate a large brownfield site in the town centre, known as PE21, between the Len Medlock Centre and the River Witham.

It includes the rejuvenation of Crown House for potential housing or commercial/community uses, and the redevelopment of B&M – including the demolition of the site to open it up – potentially into a new hotel use, or other commercial enterprises.

The area would be made to look more attractive.

Bosses want to use those developments to create new health facilities with links to the third sector as well as improve the bus station and West Street.

A previous bid for £22million funding was rejected, however, officers said the govermment gave a number of “positive” feedback points.

They include narrowing the focus – removing a previous focus on the Market Place and river moorings, further community engagement and a need for more support.

“The feedback received however gave officers confidence that we were heading on the right track in terms of a future bid being an appropriate fit with the LUF and its objectives,” said the report.

More images showing how the regeneration could look.

“It is clear from the round 1 process that government does undertake scrutiny of proposals, including a review of communications and profile of projects,” it later added.

“A disjointed response to any bid from the council is likely to undermine the council’s reputation externally, particularly with government.”

The council would have to match-fund 10% any finance it received from the government with bosses expecting this to mean around £2million.

Across South Holland, East Lindsey and Boston Borough Council a total of £60million funding will be requested.