A council spent almost £140,000 on a "destined to fail" bid for millions of pounds of government funding.
Medway Council sought £40 million from the Whitehall's levelling up fund, only to find out later it had no chance of success because it had already benefited from the scheme.
The authority put together bids for two projects, each worth £20 million.
The first would have seen the creation of a "gateway building" at the council's flagship business park, Innovation Park Medway, which is currently under construction and is near Rochester Airport.
The council would have matched the funding with £14 million from its own coffers.
The second project – in collaboration with Peel Land and Projects – would have seen the creation of a 1.4km pedestrian and cycle route connecting Gillingham waterfront to the town centre.
The authority sought funding for the scheme during the first round of levelling up funding, but was unsuccessful.
A Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) revealed the council spent £134,214 developing the bid for the Gillingham Open Lines project, £78,535 of which went towards bid design and management.
The council spent a further £5,067 on its bid for the gateway building at Innovation Park Medway.
This compares to £49,158 spent formulating the bid for the first round of funding.
Medway Council received £14.4 million from the first pot - worth £1.7 billion.
Comments from ministers Dehenna Davison and Michelle Donelan then indicated there had been change in the rules whereby if an area had already got funding from round one, they would not get it again in the second round.
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett said at the time: "Although we are disappointed that we have not secured Round 2 Levelling Up funding, we will continue to explore future funding opportunities for the exciting Open Lines Gillingham project and for two net zero carbon buildings as part of Innovation Park Medway."
Following the news, Medway Labour Group leader, Cllr Vince Maple (Lab) wrote to Ms Davison – who visited Chatham last year to see how the round one funding is being spent in the town – condemning the way the levelling up bids were considered.
Reacting to the figures, he said: "The information the LDRS has uncovered shows Medway taxpayers have picked up a huge bill for a funding bid which quite clearly they could not have been successful in.
"I think strong questions now need to be asked of the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing as to why it has not given clarity at the start of the process, so councils like Medway and many others over the country have not been left with a bill for such a huge amount of money, attempting to bring resources into the community which was destined to fail."