£23million Levelling Up funding awarded to Melton and Rutland

Levelling up fund stockyard rendition

Melton Borough Council and Rutland County Council have been successful in a joint bid, and will receive £23 million to invest in the two areas.

In Melton, financial commitments from Melton Borough Council, Gilstream and SMB College totalling nearly £2 million will be combined with £12 million of the Levelling Up Fund to provide a £14 million boost to the Melton economy, alongside a further £6.5 million investment in demand response transport between Melton and Rutland.

Melton’s funding will be used to support development of food production units and events space at the Stockyard in the town’s Cattle Market, as well as investment in the town’s theatre to support the town’s cultural and night-time economy. The combined investment will create 183 jobs in the borough.

The creation of a Hub at the Stockyard will provide an area for food production, education and support services for small or upcoming producers, networking opportunities for local producers and a café for visitors. In addition, under-used, dilapidated buildings and sheds will be converted into smaller food production units for local food and drink businesses, where production activity can be part of the visitor experience.

The site will also see investment into the creation of a multifunctional open air event space with modernised toilet facilities, allowing the site to combine events, festivals, tourism, innovation and enterprise as part of the developing offer within the town.

The SMB College Group’s Melton campus theatre in the town centre, will also receive significant investment to refurbish the main auditorium and backstage facilities, making the space more accessible. The site is used as a lecture theatre for local performing arts students and a location for professional and amateur productions. The updated facilities instil Melton as a top choice for local aspiring performing arts students as well as attract larger scale commercial events to the area.

Cllr Joe Orson, Leader of Melton Borough Council said “This is fantastic news for Melton and alongside the pre-Christmas announcement on the relief road, will provide a massive boost to the economy and regeneration of our borough.

“The delivery of these projects will enhance our reputation as the Rural Capital of Food, providing economic opportunities and support for established business and start up producers. Moreover, the creation of an event space at the Stockyard and investment into the theatre will together enrich our cultural offer and events, which will support the town centre and its expanding evening economy.

“I’m excited we can now start working with our partners on this long-term project to ensure the proposals set out in the bid are delivered to our community as soon as possible.”

Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland and Melton, who has been supportive of, and involved, throughout the bid process, said “I am absolutely delighted that Rutland and Melton’s Joint Levelling Up Bid has been successful! This is the most fantastic news and will change the future of so many of our communities. I have worked hard alongside Councillor Joe Orson and Councillor Lucy Stephenson to promote our wonderful Levelling Up Bid focused on rural innovation and I am just so pleased that our work has paid off. Rurality should never serve as a barrier to our thriving communities, and this funding will be truly transformative in promoting our local culture, health and transport infrastructure. Thank you to everyone involved and I look forward to seeing our plans become a reality!”

Hugh Brown commenting for Gilstream and CEO of Melton Mowbray Market  said “I am thrilled that Rutland and Melton have been successful in the Levelling Up Fund bid.  This grant will allow us to turbo charge the development of the Stockyard, recognising Melton Mowbray’s heritage and future as a destination for food and drink lovers nationwide. 

"Thanks to everyone for their efforts to get us here and I look forward to working with them to deliver the vision.”

Dawn Whitemore Principal for SMB Group commented “I am absolutely thrilled to hear we have secured the levelling up fund investment, this is a fantastic opportunity that is much needed to support both Melton and Rutland communities.  We have a great set of partners committed to making a real difference and these funds will now enable the much-needed improvements to be made.  The investment this brings to developing and safeguarding our Theatre, which not only services our college students but is a key community facility cannot be underestimated. We can now look forward to a promising future where the Melton theatre can play its part in attracting visitors into our wonderful town.”

The Council will work Rutland County Council, partners and officials from DHLUC on next steps for the various projects involved.

The Levelling Up Fund proposition document, which was submitted as part of the bid, can be found at: https://www.melton.gov.uk/media/llvdpgjs/levelling-up-proposition-for-rutland-and-melton.pdf



19 January 2023