Council secures UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment to help level up Wiltshire

8th December 2022, 2:40pm | By Molly Hobbs |

Council secures UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment to help level up Wiltshire

 

 

 

 

Wiltshire Council has received the first £700,000 of Government funding to invest in a number of projects in the county. The initial funding is for the first year, which runs until 31 March 2023, and there will be further funding of up to £5m over the next two financial years.

The first year’s funding will focus on helping people who are facing fuel poverty, with plans to expand the existing Warm & Safe Wiltshire programme to give practical advice and support to help more people to be warm in their homes. The programme will also link households in fuel poverty with public investment in energy efficient and insulated homes.

Another project that will benefit from funding in the first year is a levelling-up community fund, which will focus on small number of Wiltshire neighbourhoods that have significant levels of social deprivation. The focus of the levelling-up community fund will be to empower local residents to determine how they reshape, improve and create better places to live and a pride in place.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “The UKSPF’s objectives are to increase economic productivity, improve personal wellbeing and bring about a sense of pride in places we live and work – and that’s what we’re focused on here in Wiltshire.

“Our Business Plan sets out our mission to ensure the people of Wiltshire are empowered to live full, healthy and enriched lives; our communities continue to be beautiful and exciting places to live; and our local economy thrives – and that’s why we’ve focused on supporting those most in need during the first year of funding.

“Years two and three of the UKSPF will also look at projects that support local businesses, focus on communities and also improve the skills of people in Wiltshire.

“We’re delighted to receive this funding, which will provide a huge boost for our communities here in Wiltshire.”

Paddy Bradley, CEO of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We very much welcome the investment into Wiltshire over the next three years through the allocation from the UKSPF.

“The council’s plan to focus efforts to assist businesses, support communities, develop places and help young people to gain from an effective start to their experience of the world of work is a good recipe to address many of the challenges we will be facing over the next three years.

“The first year focus on helping people facing fuel poverty is well-timed and a very relevant initiative.”

The full list of projects and themes that the council will invest in with UKSPF funding includes:

Supporting local business

  • Business fit for the future: this delivery theme will focus on business growth, including the transition to digital, adaptations to net zero and opening new markets.
  • Invest in Wiltshire: this will reduce barriers to investment and growth by working directly with local businesses to support growth through new or expanded premises; invest in carbon reduction; new production lines; research, development and innovation; and providing new workspaces for small businesses to thrive.
  • Start-ups: a programme to help people start new businesses.
  • Supporting the local economy: helping small business in small towns and villages to improve the sustainability of these places.

Community and place

  • Improving mobility: encouraging active travel and community transport in harder to reach communities.
  • Levelling-up community fund: empowering local residents to determine how they reshape, improve and create better places to live and a pride in place.
  • Tackling fuel poverty: expanding the Warm and Safe Wiltshire programme and linking households in fuel poverty with public investment in energy efficient and insulated homes.

People and skills

  • Starting out: helping young adults with basic employment skills, career choices, work experience placements, internships and apprenticeships.
  • Promoting social inclusion: helping people by increasing and improving the support available to them, while providing basic skills such as literacy and numeracy, physical and mental health screening, and support on financial literacy.
  • Sustaining work: working with smaller employers and providing mental health support to help prevent long-term issues.
  • Skills for net zero economy: improve supply-side skills such as working with further education and training providers to offer courses and new learning assets and infrastructure relevant to new and changing jobs.

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