Rishi Sunak gives his own constituency £19M as brutal election loss looms over Tory Party

Rishi Sunak has handed his constituency Richmond £19million as part of levelling-up plans
Rishi Sunak has handed his constituency Richmond £19million as part of levelling-up plans

The Prime Minister has announced a £19million cash injection to regenerate his own constituency as the risk of a Tory defeat looms

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Rishi Sunak has handed his constituency Richmond, North Yorkshire £19million taxpayers’ cash to “level-up” as the next general election approaches in potentially a little over a year.

The Prime Minister has unveiled 111 projects which will be funded by a £2.1 billion government Levelling-Up pot.

The new project comes as Sunak struggles to recover from dire polling which currently puts Labour 24 points clear of the Conservatives.

The Prime Minister was handed another blow on Wednesday as former Environment Secretary George Eustice became the latest senior Conservative MP to announce they will not be running at the next general election.

Eustice joins a growing group of Tories who have said they will not be running for re-election, which includes Sajid Javid, Douglas Ross and Dehenna Davison.

Rishi Sunak in his constituency Richmond as he visits Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire
Rishi Sunak in his constituency Richmond as he visits Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire

In a bid to save sinking support for the Tory party, documents show that £19m will be used “to transform Catterick Garrison town centre” which includes “new routes for walking and cycling, a new town square, and a new community facility that will host new businesses and a community kitchen”.

The announcement of the levelling up projects comes just six months after the Prime Minister received backlash when footage emerged of the former chancellor talking about changing funding approaches.

He said: "We inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone. I started the work of undoing that."

Other projects include the Eden Project North tourist attraction in Morecambe, Lancs which is due to get £50million to “transform Morecambe’s seafront into an Eden by the Bay”.

While £40million will be used for an artificial intelligence campus in Blackpool and £50million is set to link Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Falmouth with a Cornish direct rail service.

Across the UK analysts claim London will be getting £151million more than the North East which gets £108m and Yorkshire and Humber which gets £120m - home to many of the Tories’ red wall seats.

While the North West will see the most cash with £354million of funding.

Sunak said: “Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere.

A £2.1billion government pot is being used for levelling-up plans
A £2.1billion government pot is being used for levelling-up plans

“That’s why we are backing more than 100 projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities across the United Kingdom.

“By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives and the places they call home.”

Campaigners for the North have expressed their disappointment that the region did not receive more money.

Northern Powerhouse Partnership chief executive Henri Murison said: “The North is getting roughly a third of the total amount for England, marginally below our first phase proportion.

“This is a long way off the radical economic transformation we were promised and will not make a material difference to closing the North-South divide in productivity.”