Thanet District Council has been allocated £1.15 million of government funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). This fund forms part of the wider Levelling Up agenda and is intended to reduce inequalities between communities.
Cabinet members at Thanet District Council are to consider a report at their meeting on Thursday 15 June 2023, which outlines plans for the delivery of this funding.
The aim of the funding is to build a sense of community, restore local pride and increase life chances for Thanet’s residents. It focuses on three priorities:
- Community and Place
- Supporting Local Businesses
- People and Skills
A plan has been developed, setting out how the funding will be used. This was required to adhere to the government’s set criteria and has since been approved by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. It outlines an approach for project delivery and engagement with key groups within the voluntary and community sector.
The aim is to tackle some of the challenges facing the communities in Thanet, with a focus on projects that will have the biggest impact in each location, within each priority.
The report sets out the allocation of funding to a number of interventions. These include a range of activities such as carrying out feasibility studies to better understand the needs of the voluntary and community sector, engaging with local community groups, exploring employment opportunities, chances for volunteering and a community champions initiative. There is also a proposal to create a small grants programme to support volunteering and social action projects. Details of other interventions are provided within the report.
The initiatives will be delivered through a phased approach. It is expected that the Community and Place objectives will be delivered in 2023-24, with Support for Business and People and Skills to follow in the next financial year, with further details and timescales to be scoped. The projects are required to be delivered by March 2025.
The budget for delivery will need to be updated, following delays in government approval of the whole of the UKSPF programme.
Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet member for Regeneration and Property, said: “The Shared Prosperity funding gives us an opportunity to think differently about how we approach the challenges facing some of our communities. This funding is limited, but it does allow us to focus activity where it is most needed.
“We are keen to work hand in hand with local community organisations and residents with a passion for their local community to help us deliver this funding in a meaningful way.”
Further information on the UKSPF will be published on our website.