SNP MP Pete Wishart was among those left fuming after three seats held by Tory MPs were granted Levelling Up funding while his constituency has so far received nothing.

We previously told how Moray, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, represented by Douglas Ross, Alister Jack and David Mundell respectively, were awarded millions of pounds for projects in the latest round of funding.

However, SNP minister and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead pointed out that this was the second time Levelling Up funding had been granted to his area.

He expressed concern that other towns and villages "need their fair share too". 

It is also the second time Dumfries and Galloway, held at Westminster by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, has been awarded the funds.

Wishart, the MP for Perth and North Perthshire took to Twitter/X to express his anger.

The National:

He said: “Pork barrel politics at its most gratuitous. Perthshire has not received a penny in all three rounds of levelling up which surely tells us they’ve all but given up here…”

Wishart’s comments echoed those of SNP president Michael Russell, who said public money is “being used to try and buy electoral advantage”.

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“There is no longer Levelling Up, this is pure naked pork-barrel politics with public money being used to try and buy electoral advantage.”

During a debate on the funding on Monday, former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also shared concerns about a lack of funding for his area - Ross, Skye and Lochaber. 


He told the Commons: "Once again, there is nothing for Ross, Skye and Lochaber. We heard from [David Mundell] about the importance of rural areas, but there is nothing for the Portree harbour bid, that would have made such a difference. 

"I want to invite the Cabinet Secretary and his ministerial team to come to my constituency and we'll drive around and we'll look at all the signs of the projects that were funded by the European Union - roads, bridges, harbours, sports facilities. 

"Money that would have come if we had stayed in the European Union as Scotland had voted to. £750 billion Euros that the EU was investing in regeneration. That's what we're missing out on and once again we're getting nothing, nothing, zip all from this Tory government."

The projects to receive Levelling Up funding include:

  • Dumfries and Galloway (with Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire) - Three Rivers Active Tourism Project -£22,809,416
  • Glasgow City - Drumchapel Town Centre Regeneration - £14,979,646
  • Dumfries and Galloway - Dumfries and Galloway Transport Bid - £13,752,000
  • Moray - Elgin City Centre Masterplan: Levelling Up Moray - £18,291,000
  • South Lanarkshire - National Business District: Shawfield - Remediation and Development - £14,637,600
  • North Ayrshire (with South Ayrshire) - Levelling Up For Ayrshire: Commercial and Low Carbon Infrastructure - £37,456,821

Other decisions in the latest round of funding have also attracted criticism, including the £15 million given to the regeneration of Drumchapel town centre.

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Labour MSP Paul Sweeney said: “Whilst this is good news for Drumchapel, if we take a Glasgow-wide view I don’t think it’s the top priority for capital investment in the city and it’s deeply disappointing that there’s been minimal consultation with parliamentary representatives about what’s the best investment for Glasgow.”

The MSP had previously thrown his weight behind a funding bid to renovate Springburn Winter Gardens.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “Levelling up means delivering local people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.

“Today we are backing 55 projects across the UK with £1 billion to create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth and revitalise local areas.

“This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our Long-Term Plan for Towns.”