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The UK government has been accused of abandoning Scotland’s most deprived communities, as it’s emerged that Clydebank is amongst five of the poorest parts of the country to lose out in the latest round ‘Levelling Up’ funding.

West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has hit out at the Tories after being notified that Clydebank’s bid for millions in regeneration cash has been knocked-back by the Westminster government.

The Clydebank bid for funding was submitted by West Dunbartonshire Council to create a new local transport hub – incorporating Clydebank railway station, the adjacent bus station, and the creation of infrastructure for active travel to encourage walking and cycling.

Figures from this year’s Levelling Up allocations revealed that five of the least well-off areas in Scotland – according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) – received no grants at all in the latest tranche of the scheme that was supposed to replace EU funding.

West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and Renfrewshire were amongst the areas in Scotland to lose out, while wealthier council areas in England benefitted from millions – including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s own Richmond constituency which received £19million.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“I am angry that the application for Levelling Up funding to create a transport hub in Clydebank was rejected by the Tory government in favour of projects in wealthier council areas in England.

“For all their talk of using Levelling Up funding to reduce the imbalances between areas and social groups, it is clear the Tories don’t give a damn about areas such as Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire and are only interested in supporting wealthier areas that elect Tory MPs.

“The decision to refuse the most deprived areas of Scotland this much-needed funding is appalling. It’s just the latest example of our communities being short-changed by Westminster.”

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