In February 2022, the government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launched the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Thanet has been allocated £1.15 million. The fund is part of the Levelling Up agenda, intended to reduce inequalities between communities. Thanet District Council was invited to develop a plan of how the funding would be spent in line with the government’s parameters and criteria. The council’s plan focuses on using the funding to tackle some of the challenges facing communities in the district.
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
The objectives of the UKSPF are to:
- Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging
- Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest
- Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost
- Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency
A plan was developed in spring 2022, setting out how we will use the funding in Thanet. This was required to adhere to the government’s set criteria and was approved by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in December 2022. 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 communities in Thanet, with a focus on projects that will have the biggest impact in each location, within each priority.
Funding has been allocated to a number of projects (called 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, a community champions initiative and a grants programme.