Rutland County Councillors have approved the terms and conditions to manage, administer and implement the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) programme for Rutland and Melton, at a council meeting held last night (27th March).
It was confirmed in January that Rutland and Melton has succeeded with a joint LUF bid to support economic development in both areas. By agreeing this next step, Rutland County Council can now begin the process of working with partners to mobilise projects and begin delivery.
Rutland’s Levelling Up projects focus on health innovation, sustainable transport and growing the County’s visitor economy.
Under the plans, Rutland Memorial Hospital will become home to a new £3.5m medical research and innovation facility that will provide lab and light assembly space for clinical trials linked to the creation of new medical technology. The facility would also serve as a professional development centre for clinicians working in the area, as well as a training base for medical students and nurses. The training of health professionals in a rural county will help to address skills shortages that are contributing to health inequalities in areas like Rutland. The facility will also be a community health-related hub, housing a café, health trainers and care workers.
Rutland’s LUF allocation will be used at the same Rutland Memorial Hospital site to create a new £6.5m sustainable travel hub. The hub will be supported by a Demand Responsive Transport system, based on Rutland County Council’s Bus Service Investment Plan, and extended to cover the Melton area. The travel hub will focus on two routes, which have been developed using evidence and analysis of Rutland’s transport network, with some further refinement needed. This service will help people to access work, learning and services more easily across the two market towns of Oakham and Melton.
Finally, Rutland will use £2m of its LUF funding to support investment in a digital visitor experience to view the large Ichthyosaur discovered at Rutland Water and the remains of a 4th Century Roman Villa with mosaic. Neither of these heritage assets can be displayed easily to the public. Levelling Up Funding will all the council to create virtual models, storage and touring facilities, so that these incredible finds can be shown. Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle welcome around 60,000 visitors a year, of which approximately 20,000 visit the Museum. The Museum also has a full schools programme to support the education of local children.
Rutland County Council’s Director for Places, Penny Sharp, said: “Following the announcement that our joint bid with Melton was successful, we have been able to take the next step in the process which was to agree the associated terms and conditions and begin to look at implementing the projects. This has now been agreed at Council and we look forward to working with partners to begin LUF projects in both areas.”
The joint investment awarded to Rutland County Council and Melton Borough Council was a total £23m. In Melton, the funding will be used to support the development the town’s Stockyard site and theatre. Read more about Melton’s Levelling Up projects.