Hartlepool in 'good stead' to clinch £20m of government Levelling Up cash

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Hartlepool is in "good stead" to bid for Government funds to help "level up" the town after receiving feedback from an unsuccessful application last year.

Hartlepool Borough Council leaders were “hugely disappointed” in October 2021 when their £20million bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund was rejected.

Council chiefs have now received feedback from Government officers as to why the application was unsuccessful.

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Denise McGuckin, the council’s managing director, said feedback was there were no “major problems” with the bid and given more time further detail could have been provided to strengthen their case.

Hartlepool Borough Council managing director Denise McGuckin.Hartlepool Borough Council managing director Denise McGuckin.
Hartlepool Borough Council managing director Denise McGuckin.

She said: “I can advise there was nothing significantly wrong with our bid and if we’d have had adequate time and schemes had been more advanced we would have filled most of the gaps on the checklist.

“There were no elements of the bid that were weak, nor areas that were not covered or the information not provided

“The good thing about the feedback is that it puts us in good stead for round two to make sure that we cover all of the areas.”

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She added Hartlepool was not alone in being disappointed with its application outcome, with around 300 bids submitted and 200 rejected.

The comments were made at the latest Hartlepool full council meeting, where councillors looked ahead to plans to submit a renewed bid to the Levelling Up Fund later this year.

If successful, the funds would go towards three projects, including enhanced carbon-saving measures to make the new Highlight leisure centre more energy efficient.

They also would have gone towards the refurbishment and expansion of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool and a new cycling and pedestrian bridge to better link Hartlepool Waterfront and the town centre.