As part of the latest £2.1bn of support for projects, almost £362m will be spent in London and the South East, while £354m will go to the North West. But on a visit to Lancashire to promote the announcements, Rishi Sunak said he is committed to levelling up across the UK.
In Westminster, big levelling up funding decisions – of the sort announced today – are revealed to MPs on a soulless spreadsheet and generate brief, perfunctory gratitude from a handful of members in the Commons.
These documents are seized on primarily for patterns and national trends, provoke automatic anger from the losers – and there are always losers in this process – and the whole subject descends into a party political row about political bias in funding decisions.
That’s just how SW1 does politics, whatever the subject.
But for those who live and work and run businesses in the shadow of the 111 projects which got a share of the £2.1bn funding pie just announced, today was a profound milestone.
You only have to step foot on Morecambe seafront to understand the potential benefits from the £50m funding announced for this corner of the UK as part of today’s package, and sense that residents know the area is being given an important second chance.
Without prompting, they talk of the decision meaning a return to the heyday 50 years ago when Morecambe was a destination resort for large swathes of the United Kingdom, home of perhaps the largest swimming pool in Europe alongside a promenade and beach with views of the Lake District across the bay.