Vital funding for schemes to support residents, communities and businesses
A number of new schemes are being developed to provide vital to support for residents and businesses following a financial boost from the government.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been allocated £1 million from the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund that aims to increase people’s life chances across the UK with funding between now and 2024/25.
As part of the scheme, the government has identified three main priorities - communities and place, supporting local business and people and skills.
At a meeting held on Tuesday (26 July), the council’s Cabinet agreed an outline plan for a number of new initiatives using the funding over the next three years. The council’s investment plan will now be reviewed by the government before the funding is released.
Plans for the funding include grants to support communities to deliver activities based on their local needs and to help residents with the rising cost of living by providing support, such as practical advice on energy use, assistance with budgeting and financial management and activities to reduce food waste. Further funding support would be available for activities to boost pride in local areas and support the delivery of the council’s new cultural framework. Subject to approval of the council’s plan by the government, it is expected this scheme will be launched in the autumn.
As part of the council’s plans to boost economic recovery in the borough and building on a successful scheme launched by the council in February 2022, new grants are planned to encourage businesses to recruit more apprentices. This will support skills development and help businesses to find new employees.
To support businesses’ recovery from the pandemic and boost local skills, a new scheme is planned to provide funding for small and medium-sized businesses to invest in workforce development by providing training to existing and new employees.
And to help residents back into work, the council is proposing to launch a new employment support service, alongside partners, to help residents who face barriers in accessing employment opportunities.
A new scheme will also provide incentives for businesses to provide work experience opportunities for residents who have been unemployed for a period of time, helping them to boost their confidence and build their skills.
The development of an investment plan follows engagement with key partners and organisations in the borough to develop the proposed schemes to ensure the funding makes the biggest difference to residents and businesses.
Leader of the Council Cllr Simon Bound said: “The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living has meant that many people across the borough are struggling and we are committed to doing what we can to support them.
“I am delighted that we have been allocated this important funding from the government and we have been working hard to develop an outline case for how this funding could be used to make the biggest difference to residents, communities and businesses across the borough. We hope the government will see the benefit of our plans so we can set up these support schemes as soon as possible.”
For regular updates on the proposed schemes as more information becomes available, follow the council’s social media channels @BasingstokeGov on Facebook and Twitter.