YOU don’t have to follow politics too closely to know that a key objective of this Government is to ‘Level Up’ the parts of our country that have been left behind, so that chances in life are no longer dependent on a postcode lottery.

Whilst many of our major cities have benefitted from investment in recent years, often areas on the periphery of a city, like Halesowen & Rowley Regis, have been overlooked.

We all know that there is much to be proud of in our area, and that’s why I’ve been delighted to add my support recently to local projects bidding for investment.

You may have read recently in the Halesowen & Dudley News about the £20m bid to regenerate Halesowen, demolishing the Pool Road Car Park and replacing it with a new state-of-the-art campus for the College, that will increase footfall in the town.

The plans also include additional parking, new planting, and better cycle access.

I’ve given support too to plans for the replacement of Haden Hill Leisure Centre, with a new facility that will be more accessible and ensure a sustainable long-term provision of sports and leisure provision in our side of the Sandwell borough.

Finally, I’ve also added my signature to a bid by the West Midlands Combined Authority to upgrade bus infrastructure across the region, whereby bus stops on eight services that run through my constituency will benefit with new digital displays and CCTV.

Whether it’s making people feel safer, helping people improve their wellbeing, or giving people the opportunities to further their skills set, ‘Levelling Up’ is far more than just a slogan.

I am hopeful that we will see these projects come to fruition, not just to boost civic pride but to make tangible benefits to life chances here in Halesowen & Rowley Regis.