Levelling Up Birmingham

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council writes about the latest bids that the Council has made to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund and how they will benefit communities in our city for decades to come.

Last week, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet approved five ambitious bids to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, totalling £82 million. If the bids are successful, these projects will deliver true change to communities across Birmingham, helping to improve the lives of our residents for decades to come.

Since the Levelling Up Fund Bid was launched, the council has already successfully bid for three projects, to improve the A457 Dudley Road, to renovate the Moseley Road Baths & Balsall Heath Library, and for the remediation of the former Birmingham Wheels Site.

Now, five new bids are being put forward, details of which are at the end of this blog. These bids would all help to build stronger, more prosperous communities, benefitting some of the least-well-off people in our city.

I have often talked about Birmingham being at the start of a Golden Decade of opportunity, and if we are to make a success of the investment that is pouring into our city then we must utilise it to tackle some of the great challenges that we face.

Whether it’s delivering energy-inefficient housing, regenerating struggling high streets, or supporting communities living with a lack of facilities, we can help to break down the barriers that continue to hold far too many people back.

This has been an incredibly turbulent week in British politics, and we will have a new Prime Minister and Government Ministers within months. I hope that the next PM to takes Levelling Up seriously and provides local authorities with the finances and powers that we need to make a real difference to our communities.

I believe in our city, and the bids that we are putting forward will change lives if they are successful, but I know that there is still so much more to be done. That’s why I am determined to work closely with the next Government to make sure that Birmingham is taken seriously, and that our ambitious projects to level up for the people and communities of our city are taken forward.

Our Five Funding Bids:

Erdington High Street

A bid for £10.75 million has been put in to transform Erdington High Street. This is a reworked and refined version of the initial bid that BCC made to the first round, taking into account the feedback that we received from Government.

If successful, the funds will be used to transform the high street into a thriving centre, with business incubation space, housing, cultural, leisure and social activities, improved urban realm and physical and social connectivity within the area. A new community space will be created and the bid would also see the redevelopment of the former swimming baths into a Community and Enterprise Hub.


A bid for £11.4 million would be used to regenerate Northfield Town Centre providing new services and amenities for local people and developing the transport network. The package of measures includes: the demolition of Prices Square for new public spaces, improved public realm and pedestrian and cycle infrastructure at Victoria Common, schools streets measures, junction improvements on the A38, improved bus priority, traffic reduction, cycling infrastructure and mobility hubs.

Druids Heath

Druids Heath is the most-deprived area in Birmingham, and one of the most-deprived areas in the country and is a priority for housing regeneration. £20 million is being requested from LUF to develop housing, community, social and sustainable opportunities for residents.

The fund would also provide cycle routes to Kings Heath and the city centre, and a canal bridge to the new village centre,a newly built community hall and library, youth centre, sports pitch, commercial and start-up units and the regeneration of the Village Green and Dell.

National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat

£20 million will be requested from the LUF to help Birmingham to address the biggest challenge for delivering on its Route to Zero plan – decarbonisation of heating for homes and buildings. The National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat (NCDH) will focus on the delivery of low-carbon and low-energy heating solutions in Birmingham and the West Midlands, based at Tyseley Energy Park.

This aligns with the council Levelling Up Strategy which calls on the Government to support the aim of retrofitting 166,000 social homes as part of the 3 Cities Programme, whilst unlocking a major growth sector to attract manufacturing jobs and finance into the region. This would help to address inequalities in Birmingham, as it is often the poorest people who live in the least energy-efficient homes.

Edgbaston Community Facilities

Some of the city’s most economically and socially deprived communities live within a mile of Edgbaston Stadium. £20 million would fund a range of new community and cultural facilities that would be developed at the Stadium to address health and wellbeing challenges, new learning and training hubs to boost employment, and enhanced public realm and accessibility via new walking and cycling routes to address inactivity.

The LUF would fund those elements which are not revenue-generating. The Community Facilities Package also includes a community hub at the former Quinton Police Station building to provide support for local engagement, training and reskilling, and a sporting hub to improve health and wellbeing.

This blog was posted on 8 July 2022

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