Projects bid for millions in funding to help north Northamptonshire thrive

A shortlist will be sent to the Government

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:30 pm
Projects have applied for funding

A sustainable food network and a construction and essential skills programme were two of 23 projects submitted to North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) for £5.8m of Government funding.

The UK Community Renewal Fund was launched in March to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot projects across four investment priorities.

These are investment in skills, investment in businesses, investment in communities and place and supporting people into employment.

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It comprises £220m additional funding to help places across the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) in 2022.

The SPF is being created to match the receipts which were received by the UK from the European Union Structural Funds and will cease in 2023.

Applications for the fund closed in May and all applications have now been reviewed by by the council with a shortlist finalised and will be sent to the Government by the deadline of June 18.

The shortlisted projects will then be assessed by Government officials, with decisions on approved projects expected by the end of July.

The council received 23 applications from local organisations with ideas for projects which are designed to help the economy of North Northamptonshire’s towns and rural areas thrive and meet the four priority areas.

Other projects on the shortlist include training in land and water management for ex-offenders, supporting low or zero carbon best practice and a green recovery and innovation programme.

A meeting of NNC's executive on Tuesday (June 22) will be recommended to endorse the submissions of the projects which were to be made ahead of the June 18 deadline.

It is also recommended to agree to the creation of a small advisory panel to support programme monitoring and help look ahead to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cllr Steven North, executive member for growth and regeneration, said: “Across the application period, we received an exceptionally high-quality level of submissions, and our panel have reviewed each application carefully, before recommending a shortlist to government.

“Each of the projects recommended for shortlisting will, if approved and when complete, help North Northamptonshire thrive after what has been a difficult time for everyone.”

Cllr Jason Smithers, NNC leader, said: “As a council, we have a strong vision to develop communities across North Northamptonshire, whilst being an area that creates excellent opportunities for everyone, and the projects that have been put forward for short listing will help us achieve this.

“I look forward to seeing the approved projects come into being over the next few years and the positive impact they will have on our residents and communities.”

Sol Buckner, Local Democracy Reporting Service