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Melton & Rutland Councils awarded £23million level up funding

Melton Borough Council and Rutland County Council have been awarded £23 million as part of the Government's Levelling Up fund.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced today (Thursday) that Rutland County Council (RCC) and Melton Borough Council’s (MBC) joint levelling up bid has been successful.

RCC and MBC submitted a joint bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) round 2 in August 2022. The joint bid sought £23 million investment from the Government to deliver upgrades along three key themes.

This funding is part of more than 100 projects across the UK that have been awarded a share of £2.1 billion from round 2 of the Government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund.

This Government funding will target historically overlooked areas – with £672 million to develop better transport links, £821 million to kick-start community regeneration, and £594 million to restore local heritage sites.

Some of the money will go towards upgrading and improving Melton Theatre. Photo: NEMM

Rutland & Melton MP Alicia Kearns, who raised the levelling up fund this week with the Prime Minister, said: "“I am absolutely delighted that Rutland and Melton’s Joint Levelling Up Bid has been successful! This is the most fantastic news and will change the future of so many of our communities.

I have worked hard alongside Councillor Joe Orson and Councillor Lucy Stephenson to promote our wonderful Levelling Up Bid focused on rural innovation and I am just so pleased that our work has paid off. Rurality should never serve as a barrier to our thriving communities, and this funding will be truly transformative in promoting our local culture, health and transport infrastructure. Thank you to everyone involved and I look forward to seeing our plans become a reality!”

In Melton, financial commitments from Melton Borough Council, Gilstream and SMB College totalling nearly £2 million will be combined with £12 million of the Levelling Up Fund to provide a £14 million boost to the Melton economy, alongside a further £6.5 million investment in demand response transport between Melton and Rutland.

Melton’s funding will be used to support development of food production units and events space at the Stockyard in the town’s Cattle Market, as well as investment in the town’s theatre to support the town’s cultural and night-time economy. The combined investment will create 183 jobs in the borough.

The creation of a Hub at the Stockyard will provide an area for food production, education and support services for small or upcoming producers, networking opportunities for local producers and a café for visitors. In addition, under-used, dilapidated buildings and sheds will be converted into smaller food production units for local food and drink businesses, where production activity can be part of the visitor experience.

The site will also see investment into the creation of a multifunctional open air event space with modernised toilet facilities, allowing the site to combine events, festivals, tourism, innovation and enterprise as part of the developing offer within the town.

The SMB College Group’s Melton campus theatre in the town centre, will also receive significant investment to refurbish the main auditorium and backstage facilities, making the space more accessible. The site is used as a lecture theatre for local performing arts students and a location for professional and amateur productions. The updated facilities instil Melton as a top choice for local aspiring performing arts students as well as attract larger scale commercial events to the area.

The joint levelling up bid by both councils was based on three individual themes.

Food Innovation: development of the Melton Stockyard site to provide a multifunctional events space and associated infrastructure, food and drinks production units and spaces where visitors can enjoy our local produce.

Health innovation: development of a new digital innovation facility anchored around health at the Oakham Hospital Site.

Sustainable Travel: development of an e-enabled, community directed approach to demand focus travel, based on a Mobi-Hub, headquartered at the Oakham Hospital Site but providing links across the whole geography harnessing the economic potential of over 100,000 people.

Leader of Melton Borough Council Cllr Joe Orson said: "This is absolutely fantastic news for Melton and alongside the pre-Christmas announcement on the relief road, will provide a massive boost to the economy and regeneration of our borough.

The delivery of these projects will enhance our reputation as the Rural Capital of Food, providing economic opportunities and support for established business and start up producers. Moreover, the creation of an event space at the Stockyard and investment into the theatre will together enrich our cultural offer and events, which will support the town centre and its expanding evening economy.I’m excited we can now start working with our partners on this long term project to ensure the proposals set out in the bid are delivered to our community as soon as possible.”

Rutland & Melton MP Alicia Kearns with Melton Cheeseboard owner Tim Brown at the launch of Melton's stock yard in 2022. Photo: NEMM

Cllr Lucy Stephenson, Leader of Rutland County Council added: "We are delighted that our joint bid was successful and that we’ve been awarded this funding to invest in Rutland and Melton. This money will help us to support key priorities around reducing health inequality, increasing highly skilled job opportunities, improving transport and connectivity in our area and enhancing access to the county’s unique cultural attractions.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere.

That’s why we are backing more than 100 projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities across the United Kingdom.

By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives and the places they call home."

The UK government will also today launch an interactive map online so people can see which projects in their area are receiving Levelling Up Fund investment. This will be available at

Hugh Brown commenting for Gilstream and CEO of Melton Mowbray Market said “I am thrilled that Rutland and Melton have been successful in the Levelling Up Fund bid. This grant will allow us to turbo charge the development of the Stockyard, recognising Melton

Mowbray’s heritage and future as a destination for food and drink lovers nationwide.

"Thanks to everyone for their efforts to get us here and I look forward to working with them to deliver the vision.”

The Levelling Up Fund proposition document, which was submitted as part of the bid, can be found at:

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1 commento

Great, eventually a swimming pool for the county….

oh, hold on a second..

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