Scotland’s ‘overlooked’ towns to receive millions

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
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Credit: Rory Arnold / No10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is to throw millions of pounds into Scottish towns as part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up scheme.

Each town will receive £20million to be given directly to the local authorities instead of it going through the Scottish Government.

Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary revealed that Irvine, Greenock, Coatbridge, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, and Elgin have been successful.

Last year Price Waterhouse Cooper announced that 1,400 shops closed in Scotland in 2021 which was equivalent of four shops a day disappearing from the country’s main retail precincts.

Another high street shop facing closure. Picture credit – allispossible.org – Shut-down Britain | allispossible.org.uk | Flickr

According to the UK Government, the money is to be used on helping improve the declining high streets, to tackle anti-social behaviour and to help with a long term economic viability plan.

Gove said: “This will empower communities in every part of the UK to take back control of their future, taking long term decisions in the interests of local people. It will mean more jobs, more opportunities and a brighter future for our towns and the people who live and work in them.”

The move is being taken as it should be one of the practical benefits of Scotland staying in the United Kingdom and not becoming independent. 

The Scottish Government has responded by saying it is ‘unclear how the locations have been identified’ and that having not been consulted with them has left a sense of disappointment.

This comes as Rishi Suank and Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, have been travelling up and down the UK in a battle to win the next general election.

When it comes to Sunak and Starmer, the nation is very much divided with many being both with them and against them.

A deltapoll was taken, with 1,517 British adults between October 5 and 7 which compares both Sunak and Starmer’s popularity. 

The results also showed that 37% think Starmer sticks to his decisions and knows where the country should be heading. 42% say he changes his mind all the time and doesn’t know what he’s doing. When it comes to Sunak, 64% say he is out of touch and 48% of people support his every word and move.

These seven Scottish towns are among 55 in the United Kingdom to share £1.1bn from the levelling up fund which must be spent over a decade. 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross denied the funding – which will benefit Elgin in his own Moray constituency – was a political ploy ahead of the next general election.

The announcement was made as the Prime Minister started his Conservative Party Conference in Manchester with Scotland being the first part of the UK to make a Town Centre Action Plan which was backed by funding from a £325million Place Based Investment Programme.

The Scottish Independence Referendum & Westminster Voting Intention both have data and figures telling us about Sunak and Starmer’s characteristics as leaders, the popular one being Starmer.

This might be one of the reasons the Prime Minister wants to get on Scotland’s good side with conference meetings up and down the UK, in time for the next general election, with Scotland’s own future causing a back and forward rift with the nation.

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