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New 50 Shades of Planning Podcast – Doing someone’s bidding


“We appreciate that these funds bring challenges to local councils and we want to ensure there are fewer competitions in the future and more consolidated opportunities to access government funding.”

So said former Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to the Local Government Conference in July 2021.

As ‘No Place Left Behind’ report from the Create Streets Foundation has noted, “despite the extreme pressures of the pandemic, the government has increasingly made funding available to kick start levelling up, with a strong focus on community and place.”

There are:

  • The Levelling Up Fund (worth £4.8bn);
  • The Towns Fund (£3.6bn);
  • A Shared Prosperity Fund worth £1.5bn per annum;
  • The Future High Streets Fund (£830m);
  • A Community Renewal Fund (worth £220m);
  • A Community Ownership Fund (£150m);
  • High Street Heritage Action Zones (£95m); and
  • A Welcome Back Fund (£56m).

The funding itself is clearly welcome, but Mr Jenrick was perhaps responding to criticism that all look set to be allocated competitively at Whitehall’s discretion and the National Audit Office did have something to say in 2020 about the discretion being exercised in the distribution of the Towns Fund.

What is the difference between success and failure when bidding for these funds? How hard is it in practice to realise a vision for a place, no matter how compelling and coherent, when implementation relies on a disparate and seemingly ever-evolving funding regime? Surely there is a better way, but what?

Sam Stafford puts these questions to:

  • Ros Flowers, Economic Growth Senior Manager at Brent Council
  • Andy Rumfitt, Senior Director at Turley
  • Jaimie Ferguson, Director at Open

Some accompanying reading:

Some accompanying listening: You never give me your money – The Beatles

50 Shades T-Shirts!

If you have listened to Episode 45 of the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast you will have heard Clive Betts say that…

‘In the Netherlands planning is seen as part of the solution. In the UK, too often, planning is seen as part of the problem’.

Sam said in reply that that would look good on a t-shirt and it does. Further details can be found here

BECG proudly supports the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast from Samuel Stafford, Regional Strategic Land Director at Barratt Developments.

If you’d like to take part in the podcast or want help managing or launching your own podcast then please get in touch on 0161 359 4100or email Kevin Whitmore.

Kevin Whitmore BECG
Written by: Kevin Whitmore


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