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Shared Prosperity Fund

Cheshire West and Chester Council has been awarded a maximum of £12.6m from the Governments Shared Prosperity Fund. The funding is over the next three years, with £1.5m to be used for ‘Multiply’ the Government’s adult numeracy programme.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda, providing support for places across the UK. The national £2.6 billion funding is for local investments by March 2025.

The funding is aimed at investing in local priorities and targeting funding where it is needed most to increase pride in places, support high quality skills training, support pay, employment and productivity growth and increasing life chances. It replaces the funding that was previously available from the European Union.

The Council must now produce an investment plan by the 1 August 2022 for the UKSPF, showing the intended uses.

To ensure the funding is used to maximum benefit consultations are starting with local businesses, organisations, and local MPs to develop the investment plans. The recently formed West Cheshire Anchor Network will be tasked with helping develop the investment plan.    

The funding is aimed at three areas: Community and Place, Supporting local business and People and skills. A webinar to explain the Fund and consult with local businesses and groups will be run on 26 May and available to view online after the broadcast.

To attend the live webinar being held on Teams, register by visiting:

https://www.letstalkbizcw.co.uk/eventInfo/185574/UKSharedProsperityFundUKSPF

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy & Regeneration said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to develop projects that will support our local communities, businesses and residents over the next three years, delivering Levelling Up in our area and responding to the Cheshire West Inclusive Economy, Fairer Futures and Climate Emergency work. 

“The Investment Plans will provide us with an opportunity to identify local challenges and opportunities, and to agree ideas for to how we can collectively respond to them”

Communities and Place

Investments that help to build local pride, this could be community buildings, local green spaces and community led projects.

This funding will be aimed at projects that promote healthy and safe neighbourhoods, the investments should improve the quality of places that people want to live, work, play and learn in, through targeted improvements to the built and natural environment and reducing crime.

Supporting Local Business

Creating jobs and boosting communities with investments that build on existing industries and institutions. This could be support for starting businesses or improvements to local retail, hospitality, and leisure facilities.

Supporting small and medium-sized businesses to innovate and adopt productivity-enhancing, energy efficient and low carbon technologies and techniques, and start or grow their exports.

People and Skills

The funding will focus on communities and place and local business alongside support for people through the Multiply adult numeracy programme.

Adults who don’t already have a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in Maths will be able to access free courses that fit around their lives, in person or online, at work or in the evening, part time or intensive.

Employers will have the opportunity to increase their workforce’s skills to deliver Maths GCSEs or work-ready Functional Skills Qualifications and design and deliver bespoke programmes for their workforce at no cost to them.

For more details about the Shared Prosperity Fund visit:

https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/business/shared-prosperity-fund/shared-prosperity-fund.aspx

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