Despite some welcome moves in the Budget 21, analysis by the West Midlands Forum revealed that the region has lost out to other regions in Towns Fund, Levelling Up bids, and transport funding.
The West Midlands has been awarded £216 million less than the North West in combined Levelling Up and Towns Fund money, coming just fourth overall in the UK
Awards of Levelling Up funds in the Budget for the West Midlands totalled just £33 per person – fifth in the UK, behind the East Midlands, Scotland, the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside
And transport funding per person was close to bottom of the league table for English regions, receiving around £1 billion less than the region asked for.
Towns Fund bids were announced earlier in the year, and in the Budget21, the Chancellor went on to set out a number of Levelling Up awards. In total, the West Midlands secured around £522 million between the two sets of grants – much less than the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside, and over £200 million less than authorities in the North West.
Looking specifically at the Levelling Up funds, analysis reveals that the West Midlands secured bids worth a total of £195 million – or around £33 per head; less than the North West, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and Scotland..
Turning to Transport funding, the West Midlands Combined Authority secured new transport funding of £788m over a five-year period, once existing grants have been stripped out. The fund is part of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) announced for to Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCA) on 20th July 2021. The WMCA had formally submitted a full prospectus for £1.732bn to the Department for Transport on 29th September 2021. The Authority admits the shortfall will now require ‘prioritisation’ within its plans and is now now in discussions with DfT and Treasury to understand the rules and conditions that must now be met to actually receive the cash.
The West Midlands once again lost out to other regions – the North West, East Mids, Scotland and the South East in the distribution in peer capita Levelling Up funding. Source: Analysis of: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-first-round-successful-bidders