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Skem crapped on again by Tories as funding bids turned down

04.15.11 | 1 Comment

The bid for six million quid to the Regional Growth Fund, submitted by St Modwens (town centre development partner), has been turned down. The bid was aimed at bringing together the Skelmersdale Town Centre project, and is a kick in the teeth for residents of Skelmersdale.  It doesn’t mean the end of the process, but six million quid is six million quid, and is a real setback. 

The fifteen grand plus VAT  in consultancy fees to put the bid together were paid by the borough and county council.

I understand a bid was also put in by Skem college, but that’s not got anywhere either.

The Regional Growth Fund is a tiny pot in comparison to the regeneration cash which was chanelled through the Regional Development Agencies before the Tories abolished them, and only one in 9 bids was successful. 

There is little information available about the bids that were successful, as the government is claiming ‘commercial and confidential’ reasons for non-disclosure.  Odd, when it’s public  money going to private firms.  I think I feel a FOI request coming on.

Worryingly, one successful bid at least appears to have come directly because Heseltine, the Tory bigwig in charge of the Funding Panel, personally asked for it to be submitted.  I’ll be digging around the selection criteria for more information.

All in all,this is bad news for Skem and West Lancs.  And there’s only the Tories to blame. 

More detail later.

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