£1bn Levelling Up allocation but no money for Derry due to DUP boycott of Stormont

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The British Government has confirmed the North will not receive any money under Round 3 of its Levelling Up Fund due to the DUP’s continued boycott of Stormont.

Almost £1billion pound has been allocated to 55 local projects in Britain but the North has missed out.

Announcing the latest tranche of funding on Monday the British Minister for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, confirmed no projects here will receive any money due to the DUP’s continued refusal to enter a power-sharing Executive.

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“In NI, given the current absence of a working Executive and Assembly, the Government is not proceeding with this round of the Levelling Up Fund at this time.

A power-sharing Executive cannot be formed because the DUP is refusing to support the election of a speaker at Stormont.A power-sharing Executive cannot be formed because the DUP is refusing to support the election of a speaker at Stormont.
A power-sharing Executive cannot be formed because the DUP is refusing to support the election of a speaker at Stormont.

"We will continue to work closely with projects and places in NI that were awarded a total of £120 million in the first two rounds of the Fund,” he said.

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Over £100k in Levelling Up funding announced for Strathfoyle Greenway in Derry

Eastwood: Withdrawal of Levelling Up funding another slap in the face

SDLP Leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood described the British Government’s decision to withhold money as ‘another slap in the face’ for groups and people who rely on community-based services.

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Mr. Eastwood said that the DUP had handed the Tories the perfect excuse to deprive local groups of money at a time when many arts, community and voluntary sector organisations are considering service cuts, staff redundancy or even closure.

He said: “At some point people have to say enough is enough. We have been denied a government and urgent reform to public services for well over a year now as a result of the DUP boycott.

"Now vital community funding is being withheld by the British Government under the guise of having no functioning Executive.

“The Tories will jump on any excuse to deprive our communities of vital resources but the DUP is making it far too easy for them.

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“Without an Executive, we know that there is immense financial pressure on the arts, community groups and services, and critical regeneration projects across the North. We can’t afford to be turning money down or to have it snatched away.

“There are two clear parties to this failure - the Tories and the DUP. It’s time they got back to work in the interests of all the people we represent.”

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “This is a deeply disappointing and disgraceful decision by the UK Government. Much of this funding would have helped with much needed efforts to regenerate our local high streets and town centres.

“While it is crucial, we get Stormont restored, its absence should not be a reason for not proceeding with these projects.”

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Since the last election in May 2022 the Stormont Assembly has sat six times. On each occasion the DUP has refused to support the election of a Speaker, meaning the Assembly has been unable to conduct any further business including the appointment of an Executive.

The DUP says its refusal to support the resurrection of power-sharing is in protest at the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol and Windsor Framework.