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The deadline for applying to the UK’s flagship level-up fund has been postponed

The UK government’s flagship £ 4.8bn level-up fund suffered an embarrassing delay in not being able to access the application’s web portal more than a month after the application was scheduled to be released.

Local governments that bid for the second round of the fund, which is the centerpiece of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s commitment to reduce regional economic inequality, can submit applications from May 31 prior to the noon submission deadline. It should have been. July 6th.

However, less than a week before the deadline, you will receive a message from the level-up department. Website “Unfortunately, we were unable to launch the online portal on the scheduled date.”

The delay forced Secretary Michael Gove to extend the deadline to avoid a crash when the portal went live, and bidders promised two weeks to post their submissions.

A local government official in northern England said the department was being tracked repeatedly on this issue. “We’re busy processing bids, but the lack of a portal really doesn’t help,” they said.

“I’m worried that the deadline will be next Wednesday. As soon as the portal goes live, everyone will log on and the system will crash. I’m also worried about word limits and attachment sizes.”

Alexander Rose of law firm DWF, who advises on several bids on subsidy policy, has been paying £ 1.7 billion in the first round, which was putting pressure on the system, and then against the fund in the second round. He said there was great demand.

“The government hasn’t made it clear if there will be a third round, so everyone is bidding in case they miss it,” he said, preparing the client’s bid for time, details, etc. He added that it was very difficult without knowing the basic elements. The answer may be.

“It’s really important because I don’t know how to answer the question. These aren’t small forms.”

The online portal will replace the email-based system used in the first bid that caused some congressional problems in 2021. The Bolton Council has missed the £ 16m grant deadline as a government server’s “file size limit” bounced an emailed application. Local officials said last year..

Dr. Nicola Headram, former senior civil servant Regional development, Said the system has caused long-standing frustration in local governments. “Money belongs to the local government, and it is outrageous to have this course of attack to unleash it,” she added.

Concerns follow a report by the House of Commons Public Accounting Committee earlier this month. Highlighted delay to first round Of the fund allocation process.

Four weeks before the end of the 2021/22 fiscal year, he said that of the expected “maximum” of £ 600 million, only £ 100 million was paid to local governments.

The Commission may exaggerate how “excavator-ready” a successful project is to achieve the required departmental score before “suffering from delays” as a result. I suggested that.

A spokesman for the Municipal Association said the competitive bidding process created “uncertainty” and ran out of “important” council resources. “Delayed distribution of significant funds will inevitably affect what they can offer,” he added.

The level-up department said it is working to open the portal “as soon as possible” for the second bid. “Once opened, it will be open for two weeks to give applicants time to bid,” the agency added.

The deadline for applying to the UK’s flagship level-up fund has been postponed

Source link The deadline for applying to the UK’s flagship level-up fund has been postponed

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