Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Summerfield Leisure Centre, where HBC still has hopes of creating a sports, health and cultural hub. It recently secured a £98,475 grant from Sports England to keep the swimming pool operating.

Cultural pot offers HBC chance of further Levelling Up money

The way may still be open for Hastings Borough Council to secure Levelling Up monies for its plan to develop a sports, health and cultural campus in Summerfield despite its failure to win a grant in the third round of awards from the Levelling Up Fund. Text by Nick Terdre, research by Russell Hall.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has set up a £100m pot for cultural projects. HBC’s press office drew HOT’s attention to paragraph 13 in the department’s guidance on the decision-making process for round three which states:

“Recognising the role culture has to play in Levelling Up and the pride in place Levelling Up mission, £100 million has been set aside for culture. The methodology for, and selection of, culture projects will be determined in due course.”

Guidance on how the award of this pot will be managed is therefore still awaited, but HBC is clearly hopeful it will get a chance to bid for it as the press office added: “Council officers are still developing the proposal for the Leisure, Health and Cultural hub at Summerfield and will be forwarding the proposal to the government for consideration and noting if further funds should become available.”

HBC has made full use of the £125,000 so-called capacity funding which it received to help prepare its Levelling Up Fund bid. According to a press spokesperson, “…the funds have been committed and a consultant employed to prepare a funding bid. No funds have been returned to DLUHC.”

Any grant from the culture pot will almost certainly fall far short of the average £17.7m value of the round three awards, which totalled £1bn. Altogether just over £4.9bn was dispensed in the three rounds of the Levelling Up Fund, £100m more than originally allocated.

Of HBC’s failure to secure funding in round three, the press spokesperson said, “This was disappointing news for the council as Hastings had originally been identified as a priority area for funding from this scheme.”

However the department’s decision to bypass a further bidding round by selecting from the unsuccessful bids in round two rendered this consideration irrelevant given HBC’s decision not to bid in round two.

Hastings was one of 139 areas given top priority for round two out of 363. In the event 111 awards were made, so even if the council had bid, there is no guarantee it would have secured a grant.

If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link. Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 15:40 Sunday, Dec 3, 2023 In: Local Economy

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

Leave a comment

(no more than 350 words)

Also in: Local Economy

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us


    Get our regular digest emails

  • Subscribe to HOT