Leading Stroud figures react to ‘failed’ Levelling-Up bid

Leading Stroud figures have expressed their ‘disappointment’ at the ‘failed’ £15 million cash bid . 

100 projects were awarded a share of £2.1 billion from round two of government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund but Stroud’s bid was not successful. 

Leading Stroud figures have given their reaction to the news that the bid was not successful. 

Stroud News and Journal:

Stroud District Council Leader Catherine Braun  she was disappointed with the news: “We are saddened that the government failed to recognise the potential of the district. 

“This money would have helped us radically transform and regenerate our town centre, boosting prosperity and vitality not just in Stroud but across the wider area.

“However, this is not the end for these schemes.”

Deputy Leader Natalie Bennett was also disappointed: “Our Council Plan clearly puts our communities at the heart of our work, ensuring we build resilience and wellbeing into our future.   

“This money would have helped us go some of the way to achieving that. 

“However, we remain fully committed to regenerating our district in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. 

Stroud Town Mayor, Stella Parkes, said they will continue to look for new ways to bring the plans to life.

“We would like to congratulate the successful bidders, who will now be able to use these funds to regenerate their communities,” she said.

“We are disappointed not to make it through the round, but we will not be deterred.

Chairperson of Stroud Chamber of Trade Tony Davey said: “It is immensely disappointing that Stroud, once again, misses out on essential investment.

“A huge amount of effort was invested by all the stakeholders, but the work is not entirely lost.

“This is just one of the initiatives that could be used to fund projects, and the investment in those plans for the Levelling Up Fund could be transferred to other future bids for other pots of money (as and when they become available).

“Ensuring projects are “shovel ready” has become increasing important as bid windows ever reduce.

“We can be confident we have many that meet that criteria.

“Everyone cannot be a winner in a game where so many towns and cities are desperate for investment, but it will be interesting to learn what impacted the Stroud bid.”

Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie said: “I am extremely disappointed we have not been successful with the council’s Levelling Up bid for Stroud town centre.

“I have spoken to the Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison about why the bid failed and I will be asking the district council to meet with her and myself in Westminster to discuss the issues. 

“I would like GFirstLEP to be involved too.

“The council needs to be made aware of what can and should be done to improve any application when a round 3 Levelling Up Fund pot is announced.”

Ian Mean, Gloucestershire director of Business West said:

“I totally echo Siobhan Baillie’s disappointment at Stroud’s failed bid.

“It is not surprising I am afraid because the bid was weak and  not commercial enough to generate investment by companies and jobs.

“For over a year, I had written in my business column in the Stroud News & Journal that the bid had to be more attractive to government to succeed.

“Stroud must wake up to business and listen-that’s the only way it will grow”.

Former Stroud MP and current county councillor for Stroud Central David Drew said: “I am very disappointed but not surprised.

“We worked hard on this bid and we have to hope that these improvements for Stroud Town can still happen albeit in different ways and under a different government.”

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