What projects would you like to see in Dorset Council’s bid for Levelling Up funding?

Dorset Council is asking for views from organisations in Weymouth and Portland on which projects should be included in the second round of bids to secure a share of the government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, to be submitted by July.

Last year the council submitted several bids for the first round of Levelling Up funding for projects in Weymouth and Portland which were unsuccessful. However, the feedback received from government on these submissions was positive and the council has been encouraged to update some of those same bids to suit the current status.

On the strength of its 2021 bids, Dorset Council has moved into priority category two meaning it should have a better chance of securing funding, based on the level of need for investment.

Since the first round of funding bids, the world has moved on with costs increasing in all areas. The council will take forward a number of projects from the last round of funding bids and wants to hear from organisations in the Weymouth and Portland area about projects which may need to be added to this list. Suggestions need to be received by the council by Friday 10 June.

The projects below are by no means final. It is an options list and not a commitment to being including in the final bid.

  • Defence Battle Lab II – An extension of Battle Lab at Dorset Business Park – an additional Battle Lab facility supporting defence innovation and attracting MOD investment and job creation (awaiting Royal Navy approval)
  • Brewers Quay – Since the last Levelling Up funding bid, Brewer’s Quay now has a new owner, but additional public investment could help improve the heritage offer, unlocking housing and employment units
  • Weymouth Town Centre regeneration – investment in the town centre to promote improvement to the public realm and increase footfall
  • North Quay – North Quay requires rebuilding of harbour walls, demolition of existing structures and land decontamination to de-risk the site and enable private sector investment for new housing, commercial, and potentially heritage
  • Weymouth Peninsula – Investigation and preparation work to enable regeneration of the Peninsula
  • Upgrade of Harbour Walls – a construction improvement scheme to protect Weymouth from the effects of climate change
  • Transport improvements around the town – with aspirations for an improved Park and Ride facility

Councillor Tony Ferrari, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Property and Assets, said:

“It is great that government has recognised Weymouth and Portland as an area requiring significant investment to regenerate. We want to be open and transparent about what is included in the final bid, which is why we are asking Weymouth and Portland communities and businesses for their views, so they can help shape it.

“The world has moved on in many ways since the last round of funding, construction costs have risen significantly, and Brewer’s Quay now has a private investor. We have included schemes and projects for consideration on the options list which we think would benefit from Levelling Up funding and which would improve people’s lives.

“We want to hear the views from organisations across Weymouth and Portland on whether they are in support of our options list for consideration, if they have suggestions for what else could be included, and even what should be removed.”

The deadline to comment on the proposed options list is 10 June 2022. Views should be sent to https://tinyurl.com/LevellingupDorset

Dorset Council will be working closely with Weymouth and Portland Town Councils, local businesses, residents and Richard Drax MP.  Further details on the submissions will be published in due course.

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