Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s MP James Heappey has said he is not surprised that the “lacklustre” bid for regeneration funding for Highbridge has failed to secure funds.

As first reported here, Highbridge’s bid for millions of pounds of regeneration funding was formally turned down by the Government on Thursday (January 19th).

Mendip District Council and Sedgemoor District Council had jointly submitted a £19.3m bid to the government’s Levelling Up fund last summer for regeneration projects in Cheddar, Highbridge and Shepton Mallet.

Mr Heappey said last night: “I’m not surprised that the lacklustre bid submitted has failed to find favour.”

“I was warned by the minister before bids closed that the proposed series of minor public realm improvements in Highbridge, Cheddar and Shepton Mallet would compete poorly with the more strategic – and ambitious – proposals being made by other parts of the country.”

Highbridge regeneration project

Mr Heappey adds: “I passed these warnings on to council officials along with my frustration that I’d been saying the same in meetings with the councils over many months beforehand.”

“The one silver lining in this sorry tale is that there is to be another round of Levelling Up Fund grants.”

“I look forward to working with the new Somerset Council to make sure that, this time, we come up with something that will genuinely move the dial for our local economy, provides value for money for the taxpayer, and allows our towns to meaningfully regenerate.”

The bid – which attracted criticism from MP James Heappey last August – was assessed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), who announced their decision on Thursday without giving specific reasons why it had been turned down.

Reaction to the decision not to award Highbridge regeneration funding 


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