Glasgow was left aghast this week as all seven of its bids for Levelling Up funding were unsuccessful.

The hugely inadequate £2.1 billion prize fund brought councils from across the UK cap in hand to the Downing Street door of their leaders, and a fraction received a share of the crumbs.

UK Government funds are finite, we know that, and doubtless some good enterprises have been supported, but a larger pot shared fairly with targeted and sometimes courageous investment would do better.

When levelling up was coined, it surely was not envisaged as a begging bowl bidding process, where the majority end up losing out and even the winners might not be for long.

It’s also possible that some people, when they hear “levelling up”, see Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the video the New Statesman obtained last year, in which he said: “I managed to start changing the funding formulas, to make sure that areas like this [Tunbridge Wells] are getting the funding they deserve.

“Because we inherited a bunch of formulas from the Labour Party that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone. I started the work of undoing that.”

It was estimated bids cost about £25 million collectively.

HeraldScotland: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak jetted to the north of England to address winnersPrime Minister Rishi Sunak jetted to the north of England to address winners (Image: Getty)

Glasgow put in seven bids including regeneration projects in Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Maryhill and Possilpark.

“This is not Levelling Up,” Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, said.

“It’s the exact opposite and does precisely what Rishi Sunak was caught on camera promising his base support – taking money from deprived urban areas to give to wealthy towns.

"Any claim that this process will address inequalities has been proven to be an utter sham."


READ MORE: Glasgow snubbed by Levelling Up fund as south east does 'remarkably well'


Mr Sunak defended the decision-making process and said more people in the north of England received more than those in the south-east of England per head of population.

The UK and Scottish governments are being urged to act on food inflation, still soaring while headline inflation slowed for a second month.

David Thomson, Food and Drink Federation Scotland chief executive, said: “Food and drink prices have risen for the seventeenth consecutive month, to 16.9%. 

“The UK Government’s continued energy support is welcome and will help to contain food and drink price inflation.

"But there’s certainly more the Scottish and UK governments could be doing to help keep costs down for households – including by urgently simplifying current and prospective regulation.”

This includes restricting promotions of food and drink.

Also this week, business editor Ian McConnell finds some common sense on Brexit, writing: “In a world in which there is way too much pandering to ‘red wall’ voters in the north of England, it was a great relief to hear simple economic truths and common sense on Brexit from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week.”

A leading financial services figure in Scotland has said that the new interest rates levels emerging from the rapid rise that has been overseen by the Bank of England in recent months are here to stay, deputy business editor Scott Wright writes this week. 

Elsewhere, business correspondent Kristy Dorsey reports that Scotland’s first medical cannabis production facility has secured £2 million in private investment to become one of the largest producers in the UK.