The Levelling Up Fund Round 2 (LUF2) is a competitive capital grant programme administered by the Government that follows the first round of the fund, which supported £1.7 billion of projects across more than 100 areas in the UK. The prospectus for LUF2 launched on 23rd March 2022, with an updated closing time and date of 12noon on Tuesday 2nd August 2022 for bids. The investment focus of the fund is on the following three themes:

  • Transport investments including public transport, active travel, bridge works, road improvements, aiming to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality (and more);
  • Regeneration and town centre investment building on the Towns Fund framework to upgrade dated infrastructure and regenerating brownfield sites (and more);
  • Cultural investment maintaining, regenerating, or creatively repurposing existing cultural, creative, heritage and sporting assets (and more). 

East Staffordshire Borough Council has submitted a bid for £20m from the LUF2 on the basis of the second and third investment theme above, leaving transport related investments for Staffordshire County Council to consider as the Local Highways Authority. The bid focuses on Burton upon Trent, complementing and adding value to the ongoing regeneration work in the town centre, with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund proposals setting out other regeneration investment across the Borough, ahead of any furture rounds of the Levelling Up Fund.

In order to inform the bid, the Council reviewed the extensive feedback received through the various Towns Fund and other consultations, as well as inviting Elected Members to put forward ideas in order to form a longlist of proposals. The longlist was thematic and identified areas of possible investment, with detailed proposals to be then formulated over the course of the LUF2 programme, which runs to March 2025. The list of 11 interventions were publically consulted upon during May 2022 and a summary of each can be found in the sections below.

What are the 11 intervention themes suggested by Councillors?

The following lists the intervention themes that were suggested as part of an initial call for ideas with Councillors in April 2022, which were subsequently publically consulted upon in May 2022. 


Market Place regeneration

A project to transform the Market Place area with new paving, lighting, seating, signage, planting, and other features. This would build on the previous Station Street and High Street projects and look to improve the look and function of the Market Place area for various future uses.

Investment in the Market Hall

Funding to invest in the Market Hall building, both to repair and renew the facility itself and to create opportunity to implement new types of uses in line with the ongoing review being undertaken by the Member Working Group. 

High Street Linkages Project Phase 2

Complementary investment in the second phase of the Towns Fund High Street Linkages project, with a primary focus on bringing forward the indoor leisure entertainment facility (such as a skate park) and the regeneration of Bass House (such as a food and drink use at the rear). 

Shopfront Improvement Scheme (Market Place)

The enhancement of the shop frontages in and around the Market Place area, looking at how a consistent and considerate design approach could be taken in order to best showcase the businesses in the area whilst highlighting the architecture of the buildings themselves.

Town Centre lighting scheme

New lighting infrastructure around the town centre in order to better showcase the town’s architecture and to create opportunities for thematic, coloured lighting patterns in order to celebrate or commemorate events. Please note: this would not replace the existing street lighting.

Development of a new live evening entertainment facility

Creation of a new and modern live entertainment space as part of the regeneration of the High Street riverside area, with capacity in excess of 500 for performances such as theatre, concert and comedy.

Ferry Bridge enhancement

Further investment in the Ferry Bridge, including new and improving lighting in order to enhance visibility during evening and night time use and for decorative purposes (similar to the above lighting scheme for the wider town centre). 

Clay Mills Junction Improvement

Improvements to the A38 junction at Clay Mills (Burton North) in order to enhance capacity and safe use as a major gateway into the town. Please note: this would be a transport project and so would need the support of Staffordshire County Council through their bid.

Washlands Bridge (smaller scheme)

Engaging with the Local Highways Authority on delivering a possible alternative Washlands bridge, looking at a smaller scheme to improve the connection between the wider Washlands and the town centre. Please note: this would be a transport project and so would need the support of Staffordshire County Council through their bid. 

Public art scheme

Introduction of a new, permanent public artwork scheme in order to celebrate the heritage of the town and publically recognised figures. Please note: Whilst a LUF2 bid would focus on Burton, this proposal would also look at extending the provision to Uttoxeter as well.

Additional facilities at Shobnall Leisure Centre

Development of new facilities at Shobnall Leisure Centre in order to create a sports hub capable of hosting major events. This would see new infrastructure such as stands and a covered track, enabling all weather use.

What was the result of the public consultation?

There were 367 responses to the public consultation in May 2022, where respondents were asked to rank the 11 intervention themes in order of most preferred to least preferred. Where an intervention was selected as the 1st preference, it was given a score of 11, 2nd preference was given a score of 10, and so forth until the least preferred option was given a score of 1. The total score for each intervention was then calculated and the interventions were ranked as follows:

InteventionScoreOverall RankAverage rank
Market Place regeneration297313.9
Investment in the Market Hall280624.35
Development of a new live evening entertainment facility245135.32
High Street Linkages Project Phase 2236245.56
Shopfront improvement scheme (Market Place)231655.69
Additional facilities at Shobnall Leisure Centre225265.86
Clay Mils junction improvement210176.28
Ferry bridge enhancement199786.56
Town centre lighting scheme188996.85
Washlands bridge (smaller scheme)1795107.11
Public art scheme1280118.51

This was then checked against the average rank for each intervention to verify the overall ranking of interventions.

What will be included in the LUF2 bid?

The Council's bid to the second round of the Levelling Up Fund was submitted under the themes of 'Regeneration and Town Centre investment' and 'Cultural investment', with an aim of creating and enhancing cultural, leisure and tourism facilities in Burton town centre, following the outcome of the public consultation exercise.

The bid is formed of three interventions:

  • Revitalising the Market Quarter;
  • Creating a new indoor action sports centre;
  • Investing in Bass House and introducing new uses.

Each of the interventions are further outlined below.


The Market Quarter

This intervention is twofold and comprises the following schemes:

  • Funding to enhance the Market Hall in line with the Market Hall Working Group work stream, to be considered by Cabinet later in the year;
  • Investment in the Market Place to create a more attractive and vibrant market.

The Market Hall Working Group (MHWG) are currently working on proposals for the future use of the Market Hall, which will be presented to the Council's Cabinet later in the year. As such, the funding bid to the LUF2 is linked to the work of the MHWG and will be defined as delivering on the outcome of that group, if approved by Cabinet. As such, the intervention is non-specific about end use at this time and so the grant application will be for a fixed amount to undertake structural work and any future fit out work at the Market Hall.

The proposal for the Market Place will involve the repaving of the area along with new seating, planting and lighting in order to create a more attractive outdoor market area. Initial concepts have been produced in partnership with Staffordshire County Council for the purposes of informing the grant application. The concepts include:

  • The redirection of the current vehicular access from the area adjacent the buildings in the Market Place (north) to the front of the Market Hall, continuing the route from Manor Croft car park. The purpose of this is to introduce space that can be used for outdoor seating/street cafes along the two sides of the Market Place as it adjoins the High Street, without the area being accessed by vehicles.
  • The introduction of new, movable planters and bollards in order to create an attractive, green environment whilst maintaining flexibility within the area for larger events.
  • Ground leveling lighting to encourage visitors into the Market Place and on to the Garden of Remembrance and Market Hall.
  • An outdoor seating area adjacent the Market Hall that can be linked to its future use.

At this time, the concepts are illustrative and would be consulted upon if the LUF2 bid is successful.


New Indoor Action Sports Centre

This intervention would create a 2,600sqm indoor leisure facility on the High Street, as outlined by the masterplan for the Towns Fund High Street Linkages project.

The concept for this intervention is modelled on the basis of having 'action sports' as the anchor facility within the complex, which would provide activities such as skateboarding, biking, trampolining, parkour, and others, with involvement from local community groups. Complementing this facility, the Council would look at introducing complementary activities within centre to provide a multi-activitiy complex with wider appeal to residents and visitors. This could include activities such as bowling, live music events, art shows, and more, based on local demand and operator viability.

This facility would not replicate any of the facilities currently offered by the Meadowside Leisure Centre.


Bass House Investment

The Bass House intervention is also twofold, as it focuses on:

  • Creating new food and drink uses in the rear of Bass House, overlooking the future landscaped public square (as proposed by the High Street Linkages project);
  • Investing in the repair and renewal of Bass House, bringing it up to a good standard for future uses.

The bid for the food and drink uses are speculative at this time and so is not made with an end operator in mind. The focus of the bid is on the conversation of the space into a standalone facility that can be used for bars, restaurants and cafes, with a possible ground and first floor facility.

The investment in the main building involves significant structural and repair works, internally and externally, so that it can be brought into a good standard of repair for future use. The funding will focus on works such as upgrades to services and utilities, repair works to ceilings and walls, and the general rennovation of internal previous office rooms.



How does this fit in with the Towns Fund and other projects?

The LUF2 bid is designed to complement and add value to the Towns Fund programme and other town centre projects in order to facilitate the wider regeneration of the High Street. The following shows how each of these proposals sit alongside one another:

Existing Investment (Green)

1.   Bargates Redevelopment - private sector led
2.   Washlands Enhancement Project (£2m+)
3.   Station Street Regeneration Project (£1.25m)
4.   High Street renewal project (Purple) (£0.75m+)

Towns Fund High Street Investment (Blue) - complete by March 2026

5.   8 Town Houses (£1.54m)
6.   22 First Homes for Keyworkers (£2.67m)
7.   Burton Heritage Centre / Museum (£1.11m)
8.   Landscaped public courtyard (£1.19m)
9.   Washlands Visitor and Education Centre (£3.46m)
10.  Water tower viewing platform and access (£0.4m)
11.  Library cladding and canopy enhancements (£0.89m)
12.  Garden of Remembrance enhancements (£0.05m)
13.  Andressey Passage enhancements (£0.025m)

Levelling Up Fund Bid Investment (Red) - complete by March 2025

14.  Multi-activity Indoor Leisure Facility (£7.15m)
15.  Bass House renewal and refurbishment (£4.3m)
16.  Market Quarter investment (£5m)

Other Investment

17.  Various car park enhancements
18.  Future improvement area (Yellow)