Tandridge District Council’s application to Round 2 of the government’s Levelling Up fund has been unsuccessful. In 2022, TDC submitted a bid for £8.7m to help regenerate areas in Caterham Valley and Caterham on the Hill. The money would have been used to help boost the town’s economy, attract more people to live and work in the area, introduce flood alleviation measures, make upgrades to specific roads and retail areas, and create bigger open spaces, among other improvements.
This is the second time Caterham residents have had their hopes dashed. In 2021 the council was informed their Round 1 application for £4.3m had been rejected. Residents who live in areas of Caterham prone to rising flood water had been hopeful they would receive help to fix the problem the second time around.
In January, the government announced that 111 areas will receive a share of the £2.1b pot. £200m of this will be allocated to projects in the South East, such as the more than £19m allocated to Rother Council for the transformation of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, but no money was awarded to the three bids submitted in Surrey. Other than Caterham, these had been for a health centre in Sheerwater and better cycling and walking roads to the east of Woking. 525 separate bids were put in across the country, with only around one-fifth being awarded money. Many councils have expressed frustration and anger that they have missed out on much-needed funding.
Leader of the council Catherine Sayer stated she is ‘extremely disappointed’ the town had missed out once more:
“We invested a lot of time and hard work putting together our bid and I would like to thank everyone involved for their tremendous effort and commitment. We will seek feedback on our application and will appeal the decision if we can. We will also consider another bid when the government confirms details of the third round of funding.”
MP for East Surrey Claire Coutinho added:
“I am disappointed that Tandridge’s bid for the Levelling Up Fund has been unsuccessful and I want to thank TDC for their work in putting together the bid for Caterham which I supported. I will work with TDC and central government to explore all future funding opportunities, to make sure that East Surrey gets the funding it needs to improve our towns and villages.”